When Redundancy Isn't a Crime
Dr. Jerz asks us to consider how much room is left for style and depth in a crime report when there is no time for interviews or intense follow-up. I think that in the crime report Would-be robbery victim fights back, the journalist shows there's still room for a touch of style. I know, most of us cringed when reading "police said" over and over again. After all, we're taught to avoid redundancy. But, at this point, we know that this "police said" is necessary. It's also a good way to "pass the buck," if some information from the police turns out to be wrong. What if the robber is caught and has light hair? The reporter is free of critique because, hey, the "police said." This journalist does a good job of including all the facts and keeping things concise.
In the other article, Plea deals reached in Jeanette enslavement, kidnap case, more detail was added and the wording was less repetitive. There wasn't nearly as much "police said" or "allegedly" surfacing on the page, because this case has already had time to progress, and the need to clarify each statement has dissipated. There's more personal detail about the criminals, more quotes, and more trial information. Clearly this is because there was more time to write.