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Colorful court reporting

While reading the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today, I came across a court story that was an excellent example of the kind of colorful reporting described in Chapter 9 of the AP Guide to News Writing.

Reporter Chris Foreman, in his article "Brief trial for defendant," uses small, specific details about two defendants' struggles to escape the responsibility of appearing in court in order to capture the reader's interest and make the somewhat boring court proceedings a little more lively with some light humor.

I especially appreciated the lead, even if the first sentence is a bit lengthy and tightly-packed with information:

A Fayette County jury never saw Larry E. Kelley Jr. wearing only his dark blue boxers and white socks when he told a judge Monday morning he didn't want to appear at his trial.

Immediately, the fact that Kelley was wearing nothing but boxers and socks captures the reader's attention and demands further reading. This is the kind of colorful reporting that I need to work on.


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Don't worry about it, Val. I knew you were just kidding around. ;) So was I.

I do apologize for the whiny-sounding comment, Chris. Stuff like that often bothers me, but there was no need for me to get snippy about it.

And yeah, Lou probably does say stuff about all of them. ;-)

Hmm, I've never heard too many people making fun of Fayette County. Lou has probably done so before, but he makes fun of them all. :P

See, you find that funny. Me, being a native of Fayette County, am not exactly as amused as you are. People like Kelley are the reasons why people make fun of Fayette County, and it disgusts me.

That said, yes, the story does use a lot of "hard particulars," if you will. Adding the part about the "spit mask" was just great. At swearing at the judge, too. The whole thing makes you feel like you were in the court, watching him stand there with just his boxers, spitting and swearing at the judge.

I swear, Chris, I don't mean to sound bitter towards you, but the story was a rather sad reminder of what I have to look forward to when the semester ends and I'm back at the deli in Uniontown.

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