Unfortunately he fell asleep in journalism school

I found the following on the WHEC website (local news station- Channel 10 on your dial, Number 1 in your heart).

Boys and girls, here's your quiz- what's wrong with this news story?


Rochester Police tell us that a man was robbed on Dewey Avenue early Sunday morning.

Police believe this happened at about 1:30 a.m. They say that the man was waiting at a bus stop outside of 581 Dewey Avenue when two males reportedly robbed him. According to police one of the males was allegedly holding a knife. Fortunately the victim was not injured.

Police say they do not have any suspects in custody.


Yep, the use of the word 'fortunately.' That's a value word- it's a word summing up the opinion of the writer of the article and is not factual in basis. It is not attributed to a third party- ie if the chief of police said 'one of the males had a knife but fortunately the victim was not injured,' then there would be no problem. But as it is, it represents the feelings of the writer- and true journalism is supposed to be neutral.

Even I know this, and I didn't waste a ton of money to get that fancy degree (I wasted a ton of money to get a completely DIFFERENT fancy degree).

If I were the editor of the website, I'd pull this 'reporter' into my office and explain to him what journalism is, and keep him on a short leash. Another misstep like that, and 'unfortunately' he'd be then looking for employment.

-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)

© 2017 Zjabs - 3/13/17

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