What is the purpose of crime reporting?
I asked on Twitter how journalists cover crime, and how it should change as police blotters go online. The resulting conversation brought out all sorts of aspects of the relationship between police, reporters, and the public.
- — jonathanstray (@jonathanstray)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:41:11I'm studing crime reporting. First q: how do reporters cover crime now? Second q: what is the purpose, when police web sites also report?
- Several of the first responses pointed out that police department data is often horribly hard to find and use.
- — Heather Billings (@hbillings)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:47:27
- — Jeremy Bowers (@jeremybowers)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:49:26
- A number of folks also highlighted the importance of "trend" stories, as opposed to individual reports.
- — Derek Willis (@derekwillis)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:53:14
- Which I agree with wholeheartedly, but much crime reporting is about single events.
- — jonathanstray (@jonathanstray)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:52:11@jeremybowers @hbillings @mattwynn Ok, but reporters still produce a ton of single-event crime spot stories e.g. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/two-shot-and-killed-in-dc/2012/06/03/gJQAr30iBV_blog.html …npost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/two-shot-and-killed-in-dc/2012/06/03/gJQAr30iBV_blog.html
- — Jeremy Bowers (@jeremybowers)Mon, Jun 04 2012 13:54:29.@jonathanstray @hbillings @mattwynn Yeah. This http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/two-shot-and-killed-in-dc/2012/06/03/gJQAr30iBV_blog.html …npost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/two-shot-and-killed-in-dc/2012/06/03/gJQAr30iBV_blog.html should be generated from fielded data. No question.
- — Andy Boyle (@andymboyle)Mon, Jun 04 2012 14:01:06@jeremybowers @mattwynn @jonathanstray Huge case in point: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/09/local/me-lapd-crimemap9 …mes.com/2009/jul/09/local/me-lapd-crimemap9
- — Ken Schwencke (@schwanksta)Mon, Jun 04 2012 14:17:17
- (Ben's robot is the LA Times automated system, written by Ben Welsh)
- — Jeremy Bowers (@jeremybowers)Mon, Jun 04 2012 14:04:12
- — Andy Boyle (@andymboyle)Mon, Jun 04 2012 14:00:30
- Of course, machine generated stories are not necessarily the most interesting... but it's interesting if it's your neighborhood!
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