Articles about "Police and crime reporting"


This July 20, 2012 file photo shows police outside of a Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colo. after a shooting during the showing of a movie. Police and fire officials failed to tell each other when and where rescuers were needed following the Aurora theater shootings, according to reports obtained by the Denver Post. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

Learning from prize-winning journalism: how to cover a breaking news story

In Poynter’s e-book, “Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism,” we highlight and examine 10 award-winning works from 2013 through interviews with their creators.

These works are inspiring. They’re also instructive. Starting with the “secrets” shared with us by their creators, we’ve extracted some great lessons about how to learn to do better journalism, and paired them with questions to ask in your own newsroom.

In this first installment, we explore lessons learned from The Denver Post’s coverage of the Aurora theater shootings, which earned the newsroom recognition for its work, winning the ASNE distinguished writing award for deadline news reporting, the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News and The Scripps Howard Award for Breaking News. The Post also received positive feedback from the community, which pleased Post’s News Director Kevin Dale even more.… Read more

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Four-year-old Jake Richards watches as his sister Stephanie makes signs reading "Remember Aurora," during a remembrance event at which the names of people killed by gun violence in America over the past year were read aloud, at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 19, 2013. Saturday, July 20 marks one year since the Aurora movie theater shooting rampage, which left 12 dead and 70 wounded. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A victim’s mother asks journalists not to name killer

Caren Teves wants you journalists to remember her 24-year-old son, Alex, the next time you write a story about a mass shooting. Alex was one of the 11 people who were murdered when a gunman opened fired in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., July 20, 2012.

She wants you to feel free to name her son, to use his photo if you like. But she is asking journalists not to use the name or photos of the accused shooter over and over. Teves and the organization she is a part of, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, are NOT asking for a prohibition against the photos or using the name. She told me, “If you are practicing serious journalism, if the name or the image are really important to the story, then of course you should use it.… Read more

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Connecticut School Shooting Photo Gallery

Should journalists stay away from Newtown this weekend?

According to The Washington Post, a long list of respected journalism organizations including ABC News, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, NPR, The New York Times, USA Today and the Post itself say they plan to stay away from Newtown, Conn., Saturday, the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. WFSB-TV in Hartford announced a few weeks ago that it would not be in Newtown Saturday barring an unforeseen event.

It is the second strong show of restraint in a month. Barely anybody aired the 9-1-1 calls from the schools that officials released.

The reasons to stay away Saturday are the same reasons not to air the tapes. There isn’t enough news there to justify invading the townpeoples’ privacy. There are no public memorials or ceremonies scheduled for Saturday.… Read more

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NYPD sort of restores reporters’ access to police reports

The Nabe

Journalists will once again be able to access crime reports at local police precincts in New York City — as long as they make requests through a central information office first. The Nabe broke the story last week of a change in police procedure that would have required the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information to dispense reports.

The police revised the directive after CUNY Graduate Graduate School of Journalism Dean Stephen B. Shepard complained in a letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, The Nabe reports.… Read more

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Desensationalizing stories dealing with tragedies such as the shootings at Columbine High School require careful reporting by journalists. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

5 tips on how to desensationalize stories

Every year, news agencies fight harder than before to capture the audience’s attention — and every innovation seems to make that job tougher. With the creation of cable news, the 24-hour news cycle and, more recently, a seemingly infinite number of online options, consumers can get their news just about anywhere, forcing news outlets into ever-more-questionable reporting practices.

Kathy Walton, an audio engineer for several broadcast news services, told me online recently, “I blame the wireless remote control. I’m serious. The day it became so easy to change the channel was the day television news stopped being news and began tap dancing to keep people from clicking away.”

Often, sensationalism is used to lure the audience’s attention. While some publications have made exaggeration and manipulation of the news their stock-in-trade, others stretch the truth less intentionally, not realizing their chosen angle is iffy or just plain wrong.… Read more

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NYPD stops giving journalists crime reports at precincts

The Nabe | DNAinfo New York

The New York City Police Department has decided to “restrict journalists’ access to the forms detailing crime reports in every New York City precinct,” Amanda Woods writes.

According to an 88th Precinct Community Affairs officer, this is happening because some precincts in the city allow journalists to access the forms, while others don’t. Reporters from citywide outlets have pushed the precincts that don’t offer the reports to do so. As a result, police authorities at One Police Plaza in Manhattan decided that all precincts will no longer grant journalists access to the forms.

“The NYPD’s public information office, known as DCPI, typically disemminates only select major crimes such as murders, sexual assaults and grand larcenies, but often does not include lower level neighborhood crimes,” Murray Weiss writes in DNAinfo.… Read more

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Editor: Running mugshots of black men was ‘right thing to do’

Chattanooga Times Free Press | Maynard Institute

The front page of the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Nov. 17 showed mugshots for 32 people arrested in a federal investigation of the city’s crack trade. “Of the latest round-up, all the suspects are men,” Beth Burger wrote. “All are black.”

“See their faces all in one grouping and you can’t ignore that,” Free Press Editor Alison Gerber writes in a column about the cover. “You can’t just shrug it off.”… Read more

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Occupy Oakland

Journalists under attack: Pros offer safety advice

Look at this page on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ website and feel a pain in your gut. The site documents the 45 journalists who have been killed on the job worldwide this year. Most were covering human rights, politics and/or crime when they died.

If you think the only journalists who face danger on the job are those working in Syria or Egypt, you’re wrong. Last week, WDAZ reporter Adam Ladwig was attacked by three people while covering a fire. Last month, a woman attacked a WUSA9 crew. A CBS2/KCAL9 reporter and photojournalist were attacked while covering the Zimmerman verdict protests in July. In August, Poynter.org told you about the San Francisco area attacks on news crews. In a six-week period, thieves attacked journalists six times, targeting cameras, computers and tripods and taking gear at gunpoint in at least one case.… Read more

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In this June 5, 2013 file photo, Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, then-Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after the third day of his court martial. Manning provided information to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Nine ways journalists can do justice to transgender people’s stories

Transgender people make news of all kinds, so reporters of all kinds need to know how to write about them – not just journalists whose beats regularly include diversity issues. Recently, government reporters found themselves writing about Pvt. Chelsea Manning, crime reporters in Orlando covered the murder of Ashley Sinclair, and Cosmo got an exclusive shot at punk rocker Laura Jane Grace’s coming out story.

A good starting point is this style guide from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which monitors media coverage of the LGBT community. But the issues go deeper than the basics of pronouns, adjectives and names.

“You can still be insensitive using the right words,” Janet Mock, an advocate, author and former journalist at People, said in a phone interview.… Read more

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Standoff between reporters and police ends with planned trip to Chili’s

Dallas Morning News | 10,000 Words

Police shut a group of reporters out of a public meeting in Dallas Monday, but they got in after tweeting about their plight and phoning city officials.

“I suspect in this case, the city officials played the biggest role in getting us inside. But Twitter certainly didn’t hurt because it allows us to amplify our concerns,” Dallas Morning News reporter Tristan Hallman wrote in an e-mail to Poynter.

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