Wednesday, August 10, 2011

England Rioting: U.S. Media Finally Reporting the "5 W's?"

Finally, now that they're a little bored watching the thieves on Wall Street running around with their pants on fire, the U.S. media seem to be paying better attention to the rioting in the London area and a few other English cities -- as a police story, which it basically is, rather than as some ponderous political-sociological curiosity.

The other day, I mentioned here the journalistic basics, the so-called five Ws, that had been mostly missing in the coverage: The who, what, when, where and why. What we were getting way too much of: Cliched photos of flames. Photo editors love flames, and never seem to realize that one blazing fire looks pretty much like another, except for the background, whether it's in Wyoming or Tottenham.

Also, sadly missing from the coverage were useful locator maps showing us specifically where the trouble spots actually are -- even though (and maybe because, given the anti-historical proclivities of the way-too-powerful "graphic design" layout people) locator maps in newspapers have been around literally since the invention of the woodcut.

Anyway, here comes today's Wall Street Journal with a good old-fashioned news update on the England situation that even specifically mentions the "who" and "why" in the lede, and is presented along with a useful locator map -- a map, thank you! -- that provides the "where."

To which I add:


1 comment:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Sharkey:

I doubt there are five individuals left in the world (and none in travel PR circles) who can tell you what -30- means.

Anyone who knew what -30- meant was shipped off to a re-education camp years ago. I was advised so in a 140-character message in a media form that has reshaped business travel as we know it. (That was explained in the previous 140-character message I received.)

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe