Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mirror, mirror...?


     Most days, the headlines in my copy of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel are more Police Gazette than regional newspaper. (See my October 3rd post).
      But then, as any cost-conscious editor knows all too well, "police beat" stories are cheap to produce (the cops will FAX all the facts to your newsroom) and virtually tort proof ("police said" will usually foil any potential damage action).
       Oh yes.
       There's also -- when faced with reader outrage -- the good old First Amendment Two-Step which justifies everything from priestly pedophilia to she-said-it-in-court.
ity the poor journalist cursed with a flood of positive news.
        Because "real" news almost always involves an anomaly of one sort or another.

        As in dog-bites-man or man-bites-dog rather than man-pets-dog,
        Or Jet Crash kills 234 as opposed to Airlines report 11,379 accident-free flights Tuesday.
        By its very nature, real news" is almost always bad.
        Which is why, aside from time and place,  this...

          Is the same as this....
        So much for journalism's self-serving claim, Our job is to hold a mirror up to the community we serve,
         As long as journalism's "mirror" is more Hieronymus Bosch than Mother Goose.

         Because Bad Shit usually trumps Good Shit.
         What follows is a gathering of data that tells a fascinating story of Broward County's version of the Family of Man.
          Which Broward folk will NOT* see in their local newspaper.
     Ten Year Crime Trends
        Broward County
                      2004           2014                 
  Population   1,723,131  1,803,903
  Reported       63               75
  Arrests          42               41

  Reported       3,520           2,619
  Arrests          976              731
  Reported       1,013            839
  Arrests          223               70
  Agg. Assault

  Reported        5,917           4,201
  Arrests           2,498           1,828
  Reported        13,013         11,886
  Arrests           1,801           2,096
  Auto Theft
  Reported         7,060          3,845
  Arrests            810             470   

           Source: Florida Department of  Law Enforcement              
    *Even though the South Florida Sun-Sentinel proclaims itself          Dedicated to being the most valued information provider in South Florida.

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