Media – as the word turns or rolls – Lorain

March 7, 2011 at 12:05 am 9 comments

The writing game -

Previously I have written about media manipulation and language when it came to Lorain. In particular the CRA debacle

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/hear-ye-hear-ye-all-rise-the-right-hon-public-opinion-presiding/
and recently with regard to the importance of the usage of language as it pertains to our lawmakers
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/historical-hysteria-and-again-it-is-all-in-a-word/

Can you really believe everything you read just because it is published?

Can a reader be mislead by just the absence of words?

Can the mere absence of a phrase or description or clarification tilt an article?

Can a clever turn of phrase lead the unsuspecting and less cynical of readers down a path directed by a writer whilst still being somewhat true to the facts?

And if that is the case should the whole article then be looked at with a view to overbalanced in the world of fair and balanced media?
And what difference does it really make?

As I have stated before published articles are often used in the court system where lives, property and rights are at stake.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/jaccuse-truth-justice-the-american-way/

Lorain County dot com – The Lorain forum had a poster directing the readers to the following article about Lorain and the Lorain LPD.
http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/excessive-force/Content?oid=2368594
Excessive Force- Cleveland Scene Magazine- by Kyle Swenson

NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT THE LPD/DOJ/MONTELON subject matter or in fact the Allen/ Smith case – readers already know my views on that aspect”

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/nancy-smith-reasonable-doubt/
THIS POST IS ABOUT THE “WRITTEN WORD” and the importance of words- something else I have been exploring lately

I read the article written by Kyle Swenson – I have to say I liked and yes! enjoyed, the somewhat flowery, but very descriptive writing of Swenson. His writing was a change from the normal “plugged into a format” , sound bite reporting of late .

Swenson’s clever usage of the language I appreciated BUT as I read the “descriptive paragraph” introducing Lorain I was a little confused

Nestled on Lake Erie, the low-slung cityscape of old storefronts is dwarfed by the spidering black architecture of nearby steel mills, the longtime municipal heartbeat. Today, its working-class neighborhoods are a crazy quilt of gang turf; gunshots are common on the weed-cracked streets. Residents say they come home from work, bolt the door, and don’t dare peep out until sunup. Council members have been known to make their door-to-door rounds with Kevlar vests and handguns.

Swenson’s eloquent turn of phrase painted a very unattractive picture of Lorain. I could just see in my minds- eye the spidering black architecture dwarfing the store fronts

Lorain circa 1899
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/from-bridges-to-broadway-part-four/

Swenson had got part of that picture in “one part of Lorain “ aptly described but those of us that live here KNOW that is not the whole picture of Lorain farther up the street in other wards or along the lake shore where Lorainites “nestle” we have views to delight and savour. And when they talk of “shots fired” well you can find them here see for yourself.
Shots Fired Along the Black River This Morning
Photo Mark Teleha

And when they say the sun is setting ( hat tip to the British Empire) on Lorain – well it truly does:

PHOTO Mark Teleha

Yes, we have some definite road problems with potholes and weed filled surfaces – but we aren’t alone

PHOTO JOHN HORTON CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER Cleveland has some too actually.

I could do the tit for tat Lorain vs Cleveland ( as it is the Cleveland Scene Magazine) the them and us but I am reminded that all things are relative.
Source Needed

A few years ago I attended a function in Cleveland with the “elite” I was the guest of an “entertainment critic” when the “uppity Cleveland entertainment critic” learned one of the areas covered by my host was Lorain –

“poor you” having to cover such an intellectually challenged area …. what do they have in the way of theatre? Do they even know what a live performance is in Lorain – how can you be bothered with nothing more exciting than poor “community theatre” snicker snicker-

My host was somewhat embarrassed knowing I was living in Lorain and had a great deal of experience with “snicker snicker” community theatre in my time.

And then the “critic” turned to me

Don’t tell me you are from LAHRAIN” -

No, I said I am from London – you know that little town in England where Cleveland theatre is seen as truck and bus and Cleveland referred to as the Mistake on the Lake- however even in that remote backwater we did hear of your river catching fire


( Catty I know) but again all things are relative.

So back to the media ……..

It was the following sentence in that short paragraph of 10 pages and over 4 thousand words that caused me to sigh. The picture drawn by Swenson gives “running for council” in Lorain a totally different slant – no wonder they need all these fundraisers I never realized the added expenses for a Lorain City Council “dress code”

Council members have been known to make their door-to-door rounds with Kevlar vests and handguns.

Now let us take this sentence and write it factually.

FORMER Lorain City Council member Dennis Flores, now a member of a block watch, on his own volition patrols his street, which is known for gang and drug activity, with a vest purchased by his friends and with a concealed weapon.

Just the little difference of a “s” “Council members ( plural) – Council members making their door to door rounds- leading the reader up a totally different path than the facts – to read that sentence one would believe our council members are armed with their vest”S” and handgun”S” whilst checking or politicking on our city streets all over Lorain .

So you see how one little missing word ( former) , one “s” ( members and vests and handguns” can make all the difference .

I CAN be grammatically challenged , spell the way I was taught the english language, have run-on sentences, but I am just a blogger and my own editor :) not held to the higher standard of those that are in the “real media”.

Reader Beware there is more than a “S” at stake , more than an absence of a word – reputations can be lost – perceptions tainted . the legal system flummoxed and a town castigated by the adding of a letter and absence of a “word” .

Beware the English language the Chronicle Telegram has this headline on the 4th of March 2011

Mother upset son was assigned to slave roll in social studies lesson

I would be upset too if my 10 year old had to roll slaves about-

NOTE: by 6 p.m. that evening the ” roll” had been changed to role – could that be a case of revisionist writing ;) Can you imagine the poor Chronicle reader telling a friend

I know I am not crazy I swear I saw a story about a child being made to roll a slave but NOW it is gone

…..

To be continued…………

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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Blogging, Brit take, city of lorain, CRA, media, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: , , , .

Gaddafi- flying the flag- Chris Ritchey WORDS-( are all I have)- Chris Ritchey

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ngaire  |  March 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Love your comment on this subject – I spend my life (its seems) shuddering re the ‘mis-reporting’ ‘factually incorrect’ etc etc stuff you read in the media however it was bought home to me last week just where this stems from – a supposedly highly qualified teacher wrote regarding the up-and-coming Australian Census and yes, she wrote ‘sensis’. But the lumping of every man and his dog into a statement when there maybe just a single issue, is a classic error. Aaarrrhhh

  • 2. Mark  |  March 7, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Nicely done and dead-on! Love the council pic! And thanks for the link!

  • 3. Dennis Lamont  |  March 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Media Bending
    Public Employees must lose their bargaining rights … this is necessary to balance the budget.

    Old folks are not entitled to get their money back from Social Security after the government has had the use of it for 40 years, we used it for something else, sorry.

    Freeways are free
    Not one mention of conservation as gas prices soar, drill, baby drill

  • 4. Never give up  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:58 am

    George Herbert in 1640 wrote.
    For Want of a Nail

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

    Seems to me that this is another example. Sometimes the little things can mean the most or do the most damage.

  • 5. “Shake hands with Mister Happy!” |  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:15 am

    [...] For more fun with words in the media, check out this post at Loraine’s. [...]

  • 6. Lisa  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I laughed when I saw the “slave roll” headline! If only our local media reported the stories as well as they butcher the basics.

  • 7. Dennis Lamont  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/06/social-security-is-middle-class-welfare.html

    it sure is nice to know that I am now on welfare ….. Ten years on Social Security and I still haven’t broken even. Seven percent my employers contributed and seven percent that I contributed to my welfare for forty years ….middle class even. Funny twist on words

    Of course, If I were a big employer I would love to quit kicking in that seven percent and pawn you off on a great sounding 401K, that’s great for my welfare.

    If you go to the Heritage Foundations website (Rush powered) you can also find out the the “poor” aren’t even poor.

  • [...] News media – most media are not going to do an investigation – you might get a five-minute wonder headline but then again depends on who is in fact printing the truth [...]

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