Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Tweener takes on the news pt. 2: Fatal Stabbing

The "Tweener Takes on the News" is a weekly series by the Tweener to perform the functions of an average internet weblog, or "blog".

Low and behold, I open up my online paper today, and those clowns at that the Inquirer are clowning again. Let's take a look at this absurd story, titled "Man Fatally Stabbed in South Philly this Morning":

A man was stabbed to death this morning in the 1900 block of South Mole Street, police said.

Whoa! Looks like someone got stabbed!

The victim, an Asian male in his 60s, was stabbed several times in the abdomen. He also had a gash on the back of his head.

As you can plainly see, this is the part of the article where the writer introduces more details of the stabbing.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:36 a.m.

7:36? That's an interesting time...

Oh fuck, let's just use this article to talk about the following:

Michael Nutter. Stop n' Frisk. Sugarhouse Casino. Free Wi-fi. Sugarhouse Casino. Jocelyn Kirsch. Joey Vento. Free Wi-Fi. Vento. Philadelphia Weekly article on slam poetry. Joey Vento. Sugarhouse. Nutter. Free Wi-Fi. Brady or Manning? Stop n' Frisk. Jocelyn Kirsch.

Serious commentary:

With all the news going on in Philly, it's good to know that the Inquirer still has time to print 15 word stories on homicides that are completely divorced of context and any other useful information. Like most Philly murder stories, there will be little follow-up that will explore the motives, the victim, and the state of neighborhood where this murder occured.

Most murder stories in Philadelphia newspapers, as well as newspapers accross the country, suffer from fragmentation bias. They do not provide the details that allow the reader connect them to greater social and economic problems that they are linked to.

For example, most people think that the majority of city homicides are related to drugs. This is incorrect. Most homicides are the result of arguments.

What are these arguments usually about? Although the news rarely explores the point of contention that leads to murder, one could assume it would be money.

Guess what is difficult and time-consuming for a reporter to follow? Money disputes.

In the end, therefore, we hear time and time again about murder with little understanding of the motivations of the culprits. The accumulation of these stories leaves the reader with a depiction of the city as an apocolyptic hell-hole where violence is random at all times. The reality is that within these poor neighborhoods where the murders occur, the underground economy operates in more areas than just drugs. For example, an auto mechanic might fix a neighbor's shocks in exchange for that neighbor to put up a new dry wall in his house, because neither have the money to pay each other. When such an agreement breaks down, who is going to come in and mediate that dispute?

Not a lawyer, that's for sure.

Sorry to get all preachy on you, but this last line explains it all to me:

Police are trying to determine a motive and suspects.

Then why are you printing this story?

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