Thursday, November 03, 2005

Two counts of journalese

Why do reporters feel like they have to run down the entire list of charges when talking about a criminal suspect? Watching WBRE/WYOU's joint Pennsylvania Midday newscast today, I saw Jill Konopka (who comes from WUHF-TV in Rochester, NY, to replace Justin Pizzi) spatter off the entire list of charges against the man charged in last night's Wilkes-Barre shooting. Perhaps that's because they needed time to make up for not having the perp walk video of the suspect.

What's more important here?

A. This guy's accused of killing someone.
B. This guy's been charged with various counts of criminal homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and unlawful use of a firearm.

If I want the full police report, I'll read the Times Leader, as they're apparently obsessed with their police blotters. I think Mark Cour at Wilkes-Barre Online sums it up the best:

"They should rename it The Police Blotter Leader. Do I really need to know that Billy from Jones Street had his Doobie Brothers tape ripped-off? Do I want to know which total dumb-asses left their purses in their parked cars only to have them go missing? Is it news when a half-dozen houses get egged?"


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