Whoops and Parallels

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"Police said he had a dark bandana covering a portion of his face, police said" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
 

I think for the first article, this above quote will stick out like a sore thumb to all of us. Obviously, someone missed this while editing or it was a typing error that slipped by. The double "police said" shouldn't be there. Personally, I think it works best at the beginning of the sentence.

I also found another little area were I think another word should have been chosen: "Anyone with information is asked to call the state police barracks at Greensburg at 724-832-3288" (PPG). Shoudn't it say "in Greensburg" instead of "at Greensburg"? I feel like I'm getting way too picky when I'm looking at this detail.

What I also find interesting about this article is that the reporter refers to the suspect (I'm not writing an article so I'm going to use that word) as a "would-be robber" in the final paragraph. Although the man wasn't actually caught (so no charges or trial is in the near future), isn't this still kind of crossing that fine line of what is okay to say about a suspect in a crime report and what's not? Wouldn't it have been better if the reporter had just stayed with more of the basic facts, refering to the "would-be robber" as just the man who got away or something like that? Maybe it's okay the way it is, I'm not sure, so let me know what you think!

 "They were charged for allegedly holding the teen against her will..." (Paterra).

"The Tribune-Review does not name alleged victims of sexual assault." (Paterra)

This article remined me of how important the word "alleged" is to writing a crime report. That single word can help a reporter provide a lot of details without getting themselves into hot water over their phrasing. It keeps everything out of the definate: it indicates that although these details are surrounding the person or situation, it doesn't necessarily mean that the claims will turn out to be true. As we have been discussing in our class, it also helps to prevent possible damage to a trial if the public is influenced by the newspaper too much.

Another aspect I found interesting about this article was where the reporter decided to insert the extra background info about how the three accused in the article had a previous history with kidnapping. The information, at least I feel, is very relevant because it kind of gives the reader the impression that the charges against these three are most likely to turn out true because of their past, but I thought it was placed in an awkard position in the article. Even if it wasn't placed at the very end, I feel that it should at least have been moved lower in the article so more information could be provided about the current case first.

I noticed the reporter used the quotes in the story as a kind of parallel to the background information provided as well as the list of charges for the new case. Most of the quotes were in favor of the three charged as being innocent. The one even raised some questions as to what the victim's intent may be with these accusations. Whether or not the article audience trusts these perspectives, I think the reporter did a great job hiding their own opinion about the case as well as preventing either side from having a more positive outcome by using the quotes to parallel the other information in order to try to keep a level playing field.

Bye

 

 

2 Comments

I agree that the article seems like it leans a little bit more in favor of the accused than it does the alleged victim. I wonder if this is because the reporter genuinely thought they were innocent or because he wasn't able to get a lot of quotes in favor of the victim. He ends the story with a quote expressing hope that the accused will be able to move on with her life, which makes it seem like Paterra's trying to get us to agree that she's innocent and shouldn't have to deal with this controversy anymore. While I know the reporter didn't introduce bias in his own voice, I don't think he should have used quotes to express his opinion so clearly. It would have been nice to hear from the other side in the form of direct quotes. But at least Paterra did, through quotes, point out that the law isn't black and white and it's not always a case of good guys vs. bad guys.

Andrew Wichrowski said:

I definitely did not see those typos when I was reading the "Would-be robbery victim fights back". I don't think that the second correction you made was picky, either. It is important that all of the news articles that a publication releases are consistent and are easy to read. Sloppy grammar isn't really excusable, but it is understandable in this situation with it's deadline.

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