« John Kerry To Sit Out in 2008 | Main | Anti-War Protest Staged in D.C. »

St.Paul Man Sentenced for August Killing

A St.Paul man who killed a relative of his girlfriend was charged with second-degree murder Friday and will serve one year in jail, according to reports by the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. Feon D. Stone, 20, killed Chris Beck, 29, on August 31 during an altercation at the house of Beck's brother.

The Star Tribune lead makes no mention of the names of either the victim or the criminal. Neither name appears until the second paragraph. Instead, the Star Tribune is putting the focus of the lead squarely on the sentencing and not on the names. This makes sense because the Star Tribune is considered the Minneapolis paper and the event occured in St.Paul. The event is not proximate enough to receive name coverage in their lead.

The Pioneer Press lead works in an opposite way, putting Stone's name first and then describing what he was charged with. Since this is St.Paul's typical local paper, the names are relevant due to proximity. This article mentions Stone's sister and Beck's niece, who is also Stone's girlfriend, by name. Neither are mentioned by name in the other article. The names become more important as proximity increases, since local readers are more likely to know the people then non-local readers.

Both articles contain flaws. In the case of The Star Tribune's, not enough detail is put into the story. The other article is of similar length but contains more factual information. However, the Star Tribune article does mention the judge's name, which is important to the whole story, while the Pioneer Press does not. Overall, my opinion of the two articles is that they both could have used more detail yet they still get the crucial news covered.

http://www.startribune.com/467/story/962033.html
http://www.topix.net/content/kri/1735437294346144162211449937163101712185