October 22, 2005

Writing a crime article

I have a difficult enough time writing a regular news article (I still haven't got the hang of that), but writing about a crime is whole different ballfield. The exercise on Friday was fun, but it gave me a good idea of what it's really like to write about a crime.

Reporters must be quick on their feet and with a pen; they have to make sure there is enough information to acurately portray the victims and crime, but they also have to tread carefully on the accused's rights. In our lab on Friday, I think we all got a real taste on the difficulty of writing a crime article. Like we experienced, there are so many dates and times and names. It is the writer's responsibility to clarify the events for the reader.

For curiousity's sake, what angle did everyone take for the event read in class? I focused on the escaped inmate; I didn't mention the previous escaped inmates or the hostage. Those aspects could be made into completely seperate article.

Posted by KatherineLambert at October 22, 2005 06:04 PM

Thanks for your feedback, Katie. I haven't looked though them all yet, but most students seem to have focused on the "one recaptured, one still on the loose" element.

I realize it was a non-ideal situation with artificial restraints, but it was great to see the adrenaline pumping in the classroom.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 22, 2005 09:14 PM

After having all that information hurled at us and trying to disseminate it, I have decided to not be a news writer in any type of room where facts go swirling about the cap.

I butchered the correct point of the article because somehow I think my facts got altered, but I thought my article was full of gusto.

Had this been slower, do you think you would have more throughly enjoyed the exercise?

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 23, 2005 05:16 PM

I too focused on the person who had escaped. I figured since this person was still on the loose, he was news worthy. I wanted to include the hostage in my article, but the information surrounding the hostage was not clear. When was she picked up? How long was she with them? Why did they let her go? I did not want to provide information that I did not fully comprehend myself.

I also think crime writing is fun. That scares me, because in essence we are saying we like to write about bad stuff. I think it might be that the exercises for crime writing are fun. We were just discussing in the computer lab that writing the fairy tale story was so much fun. If we were writing about real crimes it would not be so much fun. I plan on using this lesson in the classroom when I become a teacher. Students will still learn about the aspects of crime writing, but will have fun instead of dealing with depressing, real crimes.

Posted by: Jenna O'Brocto at October 24, 2005 04:50 PM

I thought that the important news was that one of the men had been captured by police, so that's the angle I took for my story.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 27, 2005 12:22 PM
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