Analysis: Spot and Follow in Story about California School Shooting

A story and a follow-up story, both found in the Los Angeles Times, about an elementary school shooting in Carlsbad, California is a good example of the reporter using the spot and follow technique.
The first story said that the shooter had been identified and gave a fair amount of detail about the event. It gave the chronological events of the shooting and described the shooter as mumbling to himself and carrying a suspected gas tank.
It also talks about the two girls' injuries and how the construction workers managed to tackle and restrain the man from causing any further injury.
The second story adds much more detail to the events surrounding the shooting. It gives a physical description of the shooter instead of just his name and also lists what charges he is being held on.
It gives much more description of the scene of the crime (i.e.: "upper-middle-class neighborhood with tall trees and a large park nearby") and also discusses the possible causes of the girls' injuries.
The biggest difference between the two stories is that the second one discusses similar school shooting events that have occurred around the San Diego region to provide the reader with some connections to past events.
The second story also points out the connections between construction workers in California and children recently by mentioning the construction worker in Fresno who saved a girl from being kidnapped by blocking the suspected kidnapper's path with his truck.
The leads in the two stories are fairly different because the first story is about the suspect being identified and the second story is a more general and detailed report of the event itself.

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This page contains a single entry by humme060 published on October 10, 2010 1:23 PM.

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