Monday, April 30, 2012

Seattle Times Writing

I've read a few articles recently in the Seattle Times and have not been particularly well-written. At least for what I expect of a newspaper in a major metropolitan area. And especially for the city which supposedly has the highest percentage of college educated people in the US. I've started to notice that many of the articles end abruptly and quite oddly. I admit I don't know a whole lot about newspaper reporting, but I would think ending an article with a paragraph or even a single sentence summarizing the main point/s of the article would be a no-brainer.

Take this article for example - it's about the wacko who, after spending eight years building a bunker in the woods in preparation for the end of the world, murdered his wife and daughter and torched their house. The article describes the bunker and what was found in it. It ends with a description of the type of food he stocked it with (grains and candy bars) and this quote from a detective: "I was surprised he didn't have more protein."

Really? That's how an article about a psycho who murdered his entire family ends? By pointing out that he really should have stocked more canned tuna?

Maybe I don't know anything about newspaper writing. I do know, however, that ending the article by questioning the man's choice of food staples trivializes the tragic murders of his wife and daughter.

And the reporter referred to one of the detectives by last name before she "introduced" the detective in the article. Maybe I'm being nit-picky (I've been grading about five million intro to archaeology research papers this week and my writing discrepancy skills are perfectly honed right now), but I think the Seattle Times could pick it up just a notch.

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