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Police And Crime reporting Part 2


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Slides from a class given at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication on 16th November 2015, covering why this beat matters, examples of different stories and top-level reporting/writing tips.

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Police And Crime reporting Part 2

  1. 1. Police  and   Crime  Reporting Damian  Radcliffe  /  Reporting  II  /   11th November  2015 RECAP
  2. 2. Another  broad  beat… ...But  one  which  brings  together  much  of  what  we  have  covered: 1. The  importance   of  having  good  contacts   2. Knowing  which  sources  to  use  to  find/follow  stories 3. Live  reporting/blogging 4. Writing  against  the  clock  and  longer-­‐form  storytelling 5. Court  reporting 6. Human  interest  perspectives 7. The  importance   of  description 8. A  subject  which  ties  into  the  core  purposes  of  journalism  (à la  Health)
  3. 3. 1. Data  Journalism 2. Obits 3. Social  media  for  news ...And  much  of  what  we  have  coming  up:
  4. 4. Has  always  been  a  popular  genre
  5. 5. Leading  to  the  journalistic  phrase….
  6. 6. Reasons  this  matters  include: • Holding  authority  to  account • Importance  of  justice  being  seen  to  be  served   • Identify  wrongdoing  (on  both  sides  of  the  law)   • Fulfils  our  thirst  for  news   • Reflects  trends • Understand  where  public  money  has  gone
  7. 7. Reporting • Know  your  “Sunshine  Laws” • Use  official  records  e.g.  arrest  report • Get  quotes • Visit  the  scene  if  you  can • Double-­‐check  facts • Recognize  you  may  get  different  interpretations  (and  acknowledge   them) • Know  your  media  e.g.  release  of  names
  8. 8. Writing  style • Inverted  pyramid;  especially   for  news  and  report  based  stories. • Keep  it  simple. • Try  and  avoid  clichés.  You’re  better  than  that. v“Blood  curdling  scream” v“Pool  of  blood” v“Loud  explosion” v“Brutal  slaying” v“Ambulance  rushed  to  the  scene”
  9. 9. A  robbery  at  Charles  Dickens'  house  reported  by  the   Dover  Express  in  1859:­‐dickens-­‐and-­‐ the-­‐diabolical-­‐crime-­‐he-­‐survived-­‐in-­‐kent/
  10. 10. Sources For  good  leads,   contacts  and  stories
  11. 11. Traditional Digital 1.    Press  Offices,   press   conferences   and  mailing  lists 1. Google  Alerts 2.    Personal,   corporate, Government   blogs   /  news   pages 2. People   and  groups   on  social   networks:    Twitter,   Facebook,   Craigslist   et  al 3.    Public  data  portals 3.        #tags  on  Twitter and  Instagram 4.    People  you  meet/talk   to  – your  network 4.        LinkedIn   for  contact  details 5.    Other  media  e.g.  newspapers,   listings   etc. 5.        Newsletters and   Alerts  (e.g.  SMS,   email  etc.) 10  potential  avenues  include:
  12. 12. Some  local  links:  http://www.eugene-­‐ Eugene  Police  Calls  for  Service • 2014  Calls  for  Service   Report CFS  and  Population  by  Beat • CFS  by  Month Annual  DUII  Arrests • Annual  DUII  Arrests  By  Month  2011  and  2012 • Annual  DUII  Arrests  By  Month  2013 • Annual  DUII  Arrests  By  Month  2014 2014  FBI  Oregon  Crime Statistics  Report Report  PDF  Link
  13. 13. Oregon  Death  Row:­‐northwest-­‐news/index.ssf/oregon_death_row.html
  14. 14. CrimeReports website  (national):
  15. 15. Need  more  inspiration? • • •­‐best-­‐of-­‐2014-­‐crime-­‐reporting/ •­‐100-­‐fantastic-­‐pieces-­‐of-­‐journalism/238230/ •­‐best-­‐of-­‐2014-­‐crime-­‐reporting/