Developments slow in case of Craigslist slaying; local papers continue coverage differently
As police remain tight-lipped about the investigation into the death of Katherine Ann Olson, a woman seeking a nannying job who was later found dead in the trunk of her car, both local papers have mobilized several reporters on the story -- and have taken very different approaches to keep the public in the know, and interested, in the case. For the St. Paul paper, the better approach seemed to be a story that was easier for readers to relate to, one about safety on Craigslist that readers could apply to themselves. A trend-safety story is a more contextual approach to covering the homicide, in a sense deepening the coverage, meaning and scope of the underlying story. On the other hand, the Star Tribune has taken the approach of offering readers a constant flow of information. Its follow up story focuses on police remaining quiet about specific details of the case, especially the alleged perpetrator. The reporter spoke with a friend of the suspect who could attest to his character, painting a much clearer picture of the case in general instead of offering broader context. It seems the Minneapolis paper is maintaining a tighter focus on the hardest news, whereas the Pioneer Press is working to broaden the affects of the story in attempts to have readers relate to it, a technique that is always captivating. In each case, readers are drawn in. Which is the safest move in terms of securing readers is unclear, but also may be irrelevant. With shocking, higher-profile cases such as this homicide, readers will likely turn to multiple news outlets to deepen understanding and consume more information on their own.