Monday, April 13, 2009

Charges filed in death of Angels pitcher,0,7295106.story
I really enjoyed this article. A lot of that can probably be contributed to the human interest aspect of the topic. When such a tragic thing happens to such a young, talented individual, it is hard to not become drawn into the story.
I felt that the video aspect of the story illustrated a good use of multi-media. The reactions that it illustrated were emotions that could not be captured in text.
I thought that the article addressed an emotional topic with a very objective and factual manner, without coming off as aloof or cold. The reporter did a good job at conveying that it was not just a baseball star that fell victim to a drunk driver, but also three other young people who were not famous.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crime Levels Down,0,1555647.story

I thought the lead for this story was put together well. It is simple, to the point, and factual. I seem to like leads like that the best.
It was nice to read a story that emphasized a hopeful aspect of crime in LA rather than another melancholy article. I felt that the reporters - Rubin and Blankstein - paid a good homage to Chief Bratton's success in driving down crime without becoming a profile piece.
Usually when a reporter jumps to topics different from their lead or headline, I feel like the piece is unfocused, but the reporters were able to incorporate the crime statistics of other regions without creating that feeling.
I thought the use of graphics was nice, but I felt that they were small and not extremely relevant to the piece.
Overall, it was very nice to see a positive aspect of the crime world in LA and its good to know that despite a recession, people still have some sense about them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Survey finds most women in L.A. County jail are repeat offenders,0,3859760.story

I thought this story was a quality, factual story. I really liked the reporter's use of statistics. I feel like the statistics help me to believe the story more. It is not just what someone is saying, it is what research shows.
Also, the article illustrates the problem and who it involves, as well as what is being done to change this. I liked how at the end, he addressed other problems within the jail system as well. Since I have started reading the Crime beat of the LA Times, I have noticed that quite a few reporters try to do something similar, but this is the first time I have read it and felt it was appropriate and well written.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2 for 1

Beaumont boy, 12, accused of killing his friend,0,5163709.story

I really like this article because it is a simple, hard news story. The reporter starts with a clear lead that gets directly to the point. He then follows it with pertinent facts and relevant quotes. Nothing is left out and nothing unnecessary is added. It is simple, factual, and informative.

FBI investigates firebombing of UCLA researcher's car,0,1587897.story

I picked this article, because it includes an example of correcting misreported information. They apologize for calling the attack a 'firebombin' while the FBI is calling it 'suspicious arson,' yet the continue to refer to the device as a 'firebomb' and to the attack as a 'firebombing." I found this confusing or arrogant. Why apologize if you plan on continuing the action?

I understand that it is a follow up article, yet I still feel like this article is vague. It is just a basic review of what happened, with little new information. Based on the headline and lead, I expected more interesting information about the alledged attackers.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

LAPD probes drug sting run by school,0,5833832.story

One of the reasons I decided to cover crime in the L.A. Times was that I was pretty sure I would come across some interesting cases. So far I have yet to be proven wrong.
This article reports on a middle school drug ring. Administrators at a California middle school suspected one of their students of selling drugs, so they then sent another student undercover to buy drugs from the first student. Who knows if it was bad judgment or ignorance of the law, but it is definitely illegal to ask a minor to buy drugs.
The article starts with an entertaining, but not very direct lead. The actual news is not mentioned until the third paragraph. In this case, I feel it was acceptable to do so, because in order to understand the newsworthiness of this article, it is necessary to understand the almost silly decision that the administration made.
Throughout the article the reporter clearly illustrates that the administration of Porter Middle School made a careless mistake, without completely chastising and embarrassing them. Both sides of the story are given; the reason behind the administrations decision and the legal ramifications of that decision. Important facts like anticipated punishment for both the child who was asked to buy the marijuana as well as the administration who asked him to do it were included, but the intended punishment for the child selling marijuana was left out.
As the article went on it became less and less focused, ending on a completely different topic within the school district. Yes, it is news, but it is not THIS news. Over all I think it was an interesting and news worthy piece but not an urgent piece, and it was written as such.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rihanna photo prompts LAPD probe

"Rhianna photo prompts LAPD probe"

This article, by Joel Rubin and Richard Winton, discusses the issues of celebrity security and anonymity in criminal cases. They start of with a clear summary lead; the who, what, when, where and even why are clearly addressed within the first sentence. The nut graph of the article delves deeper into the topic, acknowledging both the fame of the victim and the fame of the alleged offender. They provide this information because it is relevant, but do not hang on the triviality of their fame.
I think the first half of this article is a clear, timely and newsworthy piece, addressing the issue of victim confidentiality in a case of domestic violence. With celebrities' heightened publicity and the invent of online gossip websites, such as TMZ, celebrities' private matters are becoming more and more public. The article claims Rhianna was a victim of domestic violence and her confidentiality should be honored; her being a celebrity isn't an all clear to publish legal documents.
The reporters provide a fairly even perspective on the story, touching on both the limitations on the freedom of a periodical to publish whatever pictures they choose and the legal lines they are crossing with the new advent of technology.
The article continues on to discuss the issue of celebrity confidentiality in a more general aspect. The reporters present a well rounded perspective, using sources from the LAPD, TMZ, and actual laws.
The reporters took what some people could consider a trivial celebrity news story and made it news worthy - addressing the social and legal issues that effect everyone, not just the stars.