Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday morning with the news

A few not-quite-random goodies from the morning's stroll through the news. Odd how this works: Stuff that's a bad idea at one paper is usually a bad idea at any paper. Pause a moment to reflect on whether any of these sins have crossed a screen near you lately.

Hickory police said they may charge him in the March 2004 beating death of a third woman, Betsy Dickens. No charges had been filed as of Saturday.
Well, that's nice. Do we have any standards for when we accuse people of murder, or do we just sort of say whatever the cops tell us to?

The current carried crushing power, sweeping away the home and family of park ranger Jerry Toops. Fortunately, the Toops’ escaped death.
Behold the Anchorperson Adverb, so called from its prevalence in clueless local TV reporting. Readers generally know it's a Good Thing when people aren't killed in disasters or accidents. You don't have to tell them you think it's fortunate. Nor, while we're here, should you be forming plurals by adding apostrophes.

Thousands demand
fair immigrant laws
Between 5,000 and 7,000 gather uptown, joining rallies across U.S.
The 1A centerpiece is a pretty prominent place to express an editorial opinion. Should one gather that the whole staff has been formally apprised of the party line on the fairness of immigration law?

Belarus may walk
the Ukraine's
revolutionary path
Then again, of course, it may not. Which, indeed, is kind of the whole point of this fairly informative story. Use headlines to inform, not to guess. And pay attention to style; most U.S. news organizations dropped the article with "Ukraine" more than a decade ago.


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