October 18, 2005

Newswriting - The Crime Beat

Everday I ask Jay Pugh to tell me the hot gossip; everyday, to no avail, Jay has no gossip.

But, if he were on the crime beat, he would have all sorts of interesting news to report.

It seems as though, the crime beat is more interesting because of that 'sluething' aspect that goes along with it: there is an innate desire to seek out the news and report it by dividing the news into a narrative story of sorts. Like the Introduction said, one gets bad and good guys and a sort of plot structure. Literature majors are more familiar with this sort of feeling; perhaps, that aspect would make the crime beat more interesting and exciting than some other factors of the newswriting sect.

However, there are some heavy ethical issues that crime beat reporters have to consider: the nature of the stories, lines between fame and infamy become muddled, and what details that can be included in the story in an ethical manner that is fair to the victim(s).

Also, from the readings, always substitution 'for' with 'in suspicious of,' writers should not implicate the perpetrators.

What does everyone think about the crime beat?

Posted by KatieAikins at October 18, 2005 11:13 PM

I think you're right about Jay - he should get on the crime beat and give us more gossip!

Posted by: Johanna at October 19, 2005 3:50 PM

I've given you hot gossip before. But I guess it's not as cool as Jay's hot gossop...

I think the crime beat would be pretty tough to cover, myself. I'd be afraid of writing the wrong things. I had the hardest time writing the articles for the exercises due today because it was hard to determine which information seemed important enough to put in the lead. Do people want to know where it happened, or do they want a description of the theif/rapist/other criminal? Do people want to know how it happened, or what's being done about it?

I suppose it depends where the incident happened, and who was involved. People get especially upset when it comes to stories about children getting hurt in some way; how can you avoid hitting emotions in that type of situation? You can't.

Posted by: Valerie Masciarelli at October 19, 2005 9:59 PM

Oh Val....

You are the gossip queen! It is just funny that Jay never has any news.

I think your thoughts get back to the idea of interesting vs important. What might work for one person, might not be interesting to another....maybe important though.

What is interesting to you? Important?

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 19, 2005 11:59 PM

Well, in stories like the example exercise we did, where the guy gets away, I would think that a detailed description of the gunman or rapist would be important to the story. That way, people can be on the lookout for the creep.

But if the guy were found, then a detailed description probably wouldn't be as important anymore. There would probably be a picture to accompany the article if it were a big case.

I am not sure what I would find interesting. Statistics, maybe? A detailed account of how things went? I don't know.

Posted by: Valerie Masciarelli at October 20, 2005 12:05 AM

I don't know why I don't have any gossip...I think that I am too cool to have gossip. I swear, if I have hot gossip, I won't tell you lol.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at October 20, 2005 12:27 AM

I think I've watched too much Law & Order and CSI, but I'm really drawn to the crime beat. It's thrilling to discuss crimes, but the reporter has to tread carefully as to not incriminate anyone.

Posted by: Katie Lambert at October 22, 2005 6:17 PM