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.