WTF: What does this sentence mean?

Pitch Review

 OK, I know that there are bad pitches. But have you ever read bad openings for an article. This one came from the AP about an Afghan journalist: 

Open QuoteAn Afghan journalist sentenced to death for distributing an article that allegedly violated Islam is actually being punished for reporting by his brother about abuses by northern warlords, a media group said Wednesday. 

Do YOU know what the reporter is trying to say? Well, it finally appeared four paragraphs later: 

Open QuoteJean MacKenzie, country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, which helps train Afghan journalists, said Kaambakhsh is being punished for stories written for IWPR by his brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi. 

Me thinks this is the beginning of Bad Journalism. I tried to rewrite this one out myself and stopped. 

How would YOU make this sentence better? Add them to the comments. I know you’re all smarter than me =)

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4 responses to “WTF: What does this sentence mean?

  1. Is that supposed to be the lead or something? Maybe the reporter didn’t want to give the whole story right away so he or she decided to use general terms. It’s a bit confusing. Frankly, it sounds like the reporter was in a hurry to write about it. It would probably have been better to write

    “An Afghan journalist is sentenced to death for articles written by his brother which supposedly violated (certain codes of?) the Islam religion.”

    Or something like that.

  2. Believe it or not, it was the lead sentence. I like your version better. I just can’t believe an editor would have allowed that sentence through!

  3. Maybe more versions will come streaming through in the next few days. I’m glad mine wasn’t as confusing. Maybe I should copy this post and send it over to my professor. Hehehe. Shows I learned something during Intro to Journalism! 🙂

  4. LOL – I would love see your professor’s class provide recommendations for this lead sentence. It would make for an interesting read! 😛