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14-year-old girls at MOA

In the Star Tribune lead reported by Richard Meryhew," A 14-year-old from Bloomington was in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center on Saturday after being slashed in the stomach by another teenage girl at the Mall of America.

I think the word, "slash" is too graphic. In covering crime the journalist should respect the victim and their family and that is not being too graphic with the crime.


The Pioneer Press lead reported by Tom Webb, "A 14-year-old Bloomington girl was slashed with a razorlike weapon more than five times at Mall of America on Saturday afternoon, after an argument with another 14-year-old girl near the food court."

I think Webb did a better job with lead because they described the weapon and also told one of the most important elements to the story--the assult was by another 14-year-old girl.

The Star Tribune story goes on about when the event happened in the second paragraph. The first quote that Meryhew uses is from Jim Ryan a commander in charge of inverstagations for the Bloomington Police Department. He writes, "It wasn't somebody lying in wait...and it doesn't appear to be any type of robbery...there is reason to believe the suspect and the victim knew each other." This quote does not enhance the story in any way. The quote is from a inverstagor that uses political language so he is not responsible by his own words/opinion. I don't understand why any journalists uses these types of quotes. They're dry, boring and doesn't provide the reader with any real news.

The Pioneer Press reporter Webb emphasized on how these events can happen anywhere. He quoted two people from the MOA staff and both said that the stabbings could happen anywhere. Basically both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press made a huge deal out of the story, but failed to deliver the news worthy part of the story.

If I were the reporter I would have focused on the victims family or the people who witnessed the stabbing. I would not contact the MOA security or manager to get quotes because of course they're going to feed you some proproganda crap. Webb did mention how there were three nurses that helped the victim at the scene. If I were the reporter I would have tried to talk the nurses and get their point of view about the accident.

Webb ended the story by saying that the mall remained very busy that day except for a small area. Then out of nowhere says, "Mall of America gets 40 million vistitors a year." Which this is fine, but the next sentence he writes a quote from the MOA manager that said things happen everywhere...we have a saftey record...BLAH BLAH BLAH. Because Webb wrote they have so many visitors a year and then supports with a biased source it makes Webb sound biased himself--almost protecting the MOA in fear of losing customers.