Crime = repetition

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"Police said he had a dark bandana covering a portion of his face, police said." This quote is from the first sample crime story and "police said" is clearly stated twice within the same sentence. And this was published like this? I would say this is going against AP style, but as we were informed last class, the Post-Gazette doesn't strictly go by AP style. I think, though, that regardless if you're going by AP style or not, one should not repeat something like this because it is confusing to the reader. I had to read it twice because I thought maybe I just read it wrong. I knew something didn't sound right. Besides this, the actual content of the story was interesting and stood out since the victim fought back and actually didn't get robbed.

As for the second crime story, I thought the lead was well written and grabbed the readers' attention: "Three family members charged last month with kidnapping and enslaving a 17-year-old-runaway in Jeannette have reached a tentative plea agreement that includes jail time." It starts out with the subject and the active verb "charged." This sentence could be turned around and worded several different ways, but this definitely is the most effective way. However, the story's 13th paragraph (for some reason I am unable to copy and paste it) also repeated itself saying "police said." In this case, it was not in the same sentence, but repeated in the sentence directly after it. The second sentence should have said, "police continued" or something. 





6 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

That is an interesting observation Richelle, I didn’t notice that in the first article they repeated “the police said” twice like that. You are right though, that is way too repetitive. And even if they don’t follow AP style, it is a waste of words and very redundant to say “said” twice in the same sentences. All I can say is that the journalist probably didn’t have a lot of time to write the article, since it was breaking news.

Good catch, Richelle. I'd agree with Greta -- it's evidence that the story was written (and edited) quickly.

Katie Vann said:

I noticed that too Richelle and I had to read it a few times as well to realize it was there because for the most part the rest of the article seemed decently written. Between the two, it did seem like there was a lot of repetition when trying to convey "he said", "police said", "they said", etc., but it was a breaking news story and had to be written quickly. I think in the beginning stages the reporter had to make it clear who said what.

Wendy Scott said:

I have to agree Richelle I thought the lead was good to. It gave good insight, but it is a little repetitive. I looked back on it after readin you post. I think that they should have changed it up a bit.

Kaitlin Monier said:

I didn't notice that repetition. It does show how quickly reporters have to write and edit crime reports. But I agree that the second article has a great lead. That reporter did a good job of including two parts of the story in one lead without being too wordy.

Richelle Dodaro said:

That's a good point about it having to be written quickly because that's most likely the reason for the repetition. What's more important is that the story is accurate; people can deal with a few grammatical/structural errors, etc.

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Richelle Dodaro on Crime = repetition: That's a good point about it h
Kaitlin Monier on Crime = repetition: I didn't notice that repetitio
Wendy Scott on Crime = repetition: I have to agree Richelle I tho
Katie Vann on Crime = repetition: I noticed that too Richelle an
Dennis G. Jerz on Crime = repetition: Good catch, Richelle. I'd agre
Greta Carroll on Crime = repetition: That is an interesting observa
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