Media – as the word turns or rolls – Lorain
The writing game -
Previously I have written about media manipulation and language when it came to Lorain. In particular the CRA debacle
and recently with regard to the importance of the usage of language as it pertains to our lawmakers
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.
Lorain County dot com – The Lorain forum had a poster directing the readers to the following article about Lorain and the Lorain LPD.
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”
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
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
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.
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
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…………