Thursday, June 18, 2020
Who the Heck Taught You How to Write?
I was listening to a network radio newscast the other morning. NETWORK RADIO! The anchor excidedly and nearly breathlessly said "The death has been ruled a homicide."
OF COURSE IT IS!
Every time someone kills another, it's a homicide.
The key is the circumstances surround the killing. Was it accidental? Was it justifiable? Was it deliberate and criminal?
Every murder is a homicide, but not every homicide is a murder.
The coroner or medical examiner makes the determination and then punts to the district attorney, or state's attorney, or attorney general. He or she than has to decide if a crime is committed and to what degree. It eventually gets to a judge and jury. Always remember, a trial is not a search for the truth. It is a judgement of evidence.
Let me tell you something. The news business is more than the voice and the appearance. It's more than pushing the right buttons. It's more than navigating computer systems. It's knowing what you're talking about.
Was the story I heard wrong? No. Was it accurate? That's a big NO!
The anchor and the person who wrote the copy would be in my office in the morning. It's not a dismissable offense, but I would give a quick lesson on the law, and their mistake would never be made again.
AT 12:00 AM