Friday, December 30, 2011

How a sketchy story can still be news

We ran today a sketchy story about an intrusion into a home on U.S. Route 9W, near Headless Horseman Haunted Hayrides in the town of Esopus. A woman entered her home after dark to find two burglars in the residence. Admittedly, there wasn’t a lot of detail.

So, a reader wrote in a comment on our website:
court on 12/30/2011 09:05:02 said:
"What an interesting news article. Let me see if I got it wright. A lady comes home between Port Ewen and Esopus, finds two men in her home. We dont't know if they broke in, stole anything, if they had a weapon, were tall or short, fat or thin, black, white or brown, facial hair or not,
long or short hair, young or old, type or color of cloths nor what direction they went when they left. All we do know is that the lady wasn't hurt, thank God. THIS IS NEWS????"

Well, yes – yes, it is news. I’m somewhat astonished at the suggestion that it isn’t. It is, to be sure, incomplete news, but sometimes that’s all you have. 

But I would think that if someone in my neighborhood were to experience the same thing, this would be something I’d want to know about as soon as possible. Why? Well, I’d take special care to make sure my doors and windows and cars were locked, make sure my lights were on after dark, would take extra caution leaving and entering my residence, and warn my wife and son to do the same. I’d alert my neighbors so that everyone could watch out for one another. 

Readers are, of course, free to decide for themselves whether this story – or any story, for that matter – really concerns them. But saying it isn’t news to me is not the same as saying it’s not news more generally to others.


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