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Thursday, July 03, 2008


Journalists... Slackers!
Current mood: argumentative
Category: News and Politics

Ok, yeah, so written news is practically given away nowadays, and there's no reward for doing real field work when one can just sit at a terminal and read the feeds.  But still I sometimes am exasperated by how badly news writers will leave the reader wondering, "WTF???"

As a counter example, here's a nice tidy story with no hanging questions.

"Police Find Man Fighting ... With Himself"
"Officers dispatched to what they thought was a domestic disturbance Monday night discovered a lone Mesa man fighting with himself, authorities said.

Though the original call reported a verbal argument between a man and a woman, police said they found the 21-year-old man arguing with himself, changing the pitch of his voice as he acted out each part.

The man was also destroying the inside of the apartment, officers said. He broke the front window as officers tried to calm him down and coax him out of the home, according to authorities.

A crisis team decided the man was a danger to himself and obtained a mental health pick up order, police said. The Mesa SWAT team responded and took the subject into custody."

There's a proper set-up in the headline, we know how the event started, and how it ended.  Very nice.  But now here's two other articles which at first appar related.

"Woman charged with trading sex for gas"
"While doing surveillance at the hotel, officers spotted a woman they knew because of her criminal history.

They discovered she was there for sex – and that she was allegedly paid with a $100 gas card.

"When people are selling their bodies for gas, that's pretty sad," said Ken Easterling, chief prosecutor in the Kenton County Attorney's Office.

Angela R. Eversole, 34, of Fort Wright, is accused of prostitution and doing business without an occupational license."

There really isn't much of a story, people being paid with near cash equivalents.  Nothing new.  But what's this... 'doing business without an occupational license'?!?  Um, can one get a prostitution license in Ohio?  Do you have to put "Days Inn" on the application form, or is it ok to have a roving franchise??

With those questions unresolved - on to the last story.

"Warrant: Dentist traded drugs for sexual favors"
"Detectives wrote in the warrant that Dr. James David Boyd, 47, made personal appointments at his office to prescribe the drugs, mainly to young females, WSOC-TV in Charlotte reported Tuesday.

The warrant said Boyd planned to meet with Candice Drye, 23, of Mocksville last week, "for the purpose of obtaining prescription narcotics, money and alcoholic beverages in exchange for sexual favors.""

Seems straightforward there.  But let's back up to the first line of the story,
"A Salisbury dentist found bound and strangled in his bed had been prescribing drugs to young women in exchange for sexual favors, according to search warrants", and later in the piece, "Drye is one of three people charged with murder in Boyd's death. Also are charged are Jonathan Barnett, 18, and Christoper Boyd, 21, who are cousins. Christopher Boyd is not related to the victim.

The victim's body was found Thursday morning by one of his employees who went to his home to check on him after he didn't arrived at work. Boyd was found in his bed with his hands and feet bound, and a cord wrapped around his neck"

Whoa there mister editor!  This guy is found gagged and bound - and dead - and you want to write a story about how people barter for drugs?  You've got the new Bob Crane story on your desk, with photos, and you write a headline about home video recording???

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