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Mauled - and mad

The ridiculous headline of the Pioneer Press article about the recent dog attacks sets up the reader for the emotion-laden tale - and conflict - to come. The story was compiled by a team of 3 reporters, perhaps each responsible for a different section of the article. It starts by recounting the most recent attack of a pit bull on Monday of a woman delivering legal papers. It includes an incendiary quote from the victim - "I want this breed of dog off the face of the Earth" - which is counterbalanced by another outrageous claim - "If you target a specific breed, it's akin to racial profiling," among other colorful tidbits (a dog rescue group called A Rotta Love Plus). Eventually they get to thefacts and history of the story and explain the laws surrounding dangerous dogs. The print front page, top of the fold version features about a quarter page-size photo of the recent victim crying, presumably as she retells the horrific story to the reporters, and the 2 culprits. The sidebar has some helpful hints about how to avoid and react to a dog attack and training resources.

Those reporters squeezed every ounce of juice from this story. By contrast, MPR had a short and concise story about the attack and what the city can and will do: "Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels said he might propose changing the city's dog ordinance to allow the city to destroy dogs after just one attack."