News Writing (EL 227)


21 Oct 2005

Ex 2-3a: Crime Article Analysis

Think of a fairy tale or other children's story, and imagine it as a news story. For the first part of the exercise, find two or three news articles that cover the same general subject. For instance, if you choose "Tom, Tom the piper's son / Stole a pig and away he run," you'll need to find a news story about theft. In "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean," you might look up a health story about anorexia in males, as well as a story about violence that ensued from a domestic dispute. (Hint: use news.google.com.)

Print out the news stories, and write a brief essay that identifies where, precisely, the justice-related events described in your fictional (emphasis added --DGJ) news story (arrest, hearing, trial, sentencing, etc.) fall on the flowchart available on this site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/flowchart.htm

For context, refer back to the readings assigned for Oct 19.

Update: You are welcome to begin workin gon your storybook crime story, but this assignment is just preparation -- I'm not actually asking you to write a final draft yet.

When I do read it, I'll take on a skeptical, aggressively legalistic attitude, which means if you call the Big Bad Wolf as "fierce" or if you indentify the female juvenile he is suspected of assaulting, I'll note it. So be ready to have fun with this assignment, while still demonstrating that you are aware of what a reporter should and shouldn't reveal about suspects, victims, and the investigation process. (There's more to come on that.)

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Comments

Dr. Jerz -- For the essay part of this assignment, do we identify the places of the justice-related events for the "storybook" news story that we choose, or for each of the two-three news stories that we find?

Posted by: ChrisU at October 19, 2005 04:47 PM

Ah, I see your question. Yes, I am asking you to identify the events of your made-up storybook crime, according to a justice system that exactly mirrors the one described in that chart.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 19, 2005 04:54 PM

Alrighty, that helps a lot. Thanks.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 19, 2005 05:34 PM

So we're just getting the stories that go with the nursery rhyme? We aren't writing the actual story yet?

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at October 20, 2005 09:01 PM

Lou, I want to make sure we've got a little more practice analyzing and discussing the form of the crime story first, before everybody uncorks the creative juices.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 20, 2005 10:02 PM

That's why i asked my question. I didn't want to write anything until I was 100% sure of what you wanted.

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at October 20, 2005 10:27 PM

Dr.Jerz, are we allowed to write about any of the above fairy tales mentioned in the example?

ie:Little Red Riding Hood, Tom Tom Piper's Son, & Jack Sprat.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 20, 2005 11:11 PM

I also forgot to ask if there is a particular version of the fairy tale that we must use. For instance can I use "Little Red Cap" (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) or "The False Grandmother" (France) or the classic "Little Red Riding Hood" (Charles Perrault)? The endings in each of these tales is different.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 20, 2005 11:19 PM

Considering that the assignment just says to "think" of a story, I'm guessing it's probably okay if you choose any version you want, as long as it will give you substantial material to work with for the essay.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 21, 2005 12:17 AM

Leslie, yes, Chris is right. At this stage it's just a thought experiment.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 21, 2005 10:08 AM
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