October 19, 2005
The Crime Beat
The crime beat is a place where a journalist can "make his bones," as the mob adage goes.
In this section Dave Krajicek says that the crime beat should be the best in the business for storytelling because most crime stories include a protagonist and an antagonist.
Although I enjoy this parallel, I don't think that a reporter should think of their job as fun because these events are not the fiction that we usually, but instead, they are events that are impacting the lives of the people around us.
Many people may think that "this won't happen to me," but the truth of the matter is that "this" can happen to any one of us at any given time.
As I was searching for something to write about The Crime Beat, I was looking over some peer blogs. As I read Jenna's blog on the same topic, I thought "wow that is exactly what I wanted to say." So, thank you Jenna for inspiring me to write this blog.
Another aspect of this reading that I found interesting is the amount of equipment that a crime reporter should carry with them. This "emergency bag" sounds like it would be the size of a suit case, but as Krajicek says, "reporters with a reputation for being ready to move quickly often draw plum assignments to cover breaking news out of town or out of country."
I hope that in the future as I practice the art of crime writing, I can show my creativity without hurting someone around me.
Posted by AshleeLupchinsky at October 19, 2005 09:13 AM
I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with enjoying crime reporting; some journalists may find it fun simply because it gives them a chance to do some detective work. Just because they enjoy their job doesn't mean they have to enjoy watching others suffer.
Posted by: ChrisU at October 19, 2005 10:26 AM
I agree. It's incomprehensible to think of crime reporting as fun. I think, though, that the reporter has to detach him- or herself emotionally. Maybe that takes time. For me, I could report on crime as long as I would not have to look at anything gory--road kill makes me sick.
The one redeeming element in crime reporting, I believe, would be uncovering the truth or giving a story attention in order to help solve it. It might also give the victim or the victim's family a voice. And in a sense, the perpetrator's family is sometimes a victim, too.
I remember many, many years ago reading Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood." It was a chilling account of a family that was brutally murdered by two ex-cons. The ex-cons eventually got what they deserved--death--, but the life story of the one criminal (Perry?) mitigated his participation.
Posted by: NancyGregg at October 19, 2005 06:09 PM
Granted, writing about crime can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. That's why in my "emergency bag" I always keep puppets and candy canes. You'll thank me later.
Posted by: Michael Dell at October 22, 2005 01:26 AM