• Is a junkie’s crime newsworthy?
• Libraries warrant more coverage.
This article is from the Daily News, written by William Bender. In Delaware County, specifically in Ridley Township, police arrested Adam Abarca, 22, of Upper Darby, on charges that he stole deodorant from local pharmacies. Abarca, according to authorities, stole several hundred dollars worth of deodorant, stealing $200 worth one time, $111 worth another, and $252 worth another. Police Sgt. Charles Palo said that Abarca was selling the deodorant to Chinese bodegas in Philadelphia to support his heroin addiction. Also according to Sgt. Palo, Abarca admitted to the thefts.
This article is not newsworthy. It would seem that, even to residents of Ridley Township, this story has no news value. His crime seemed to only affect the businesses he was stealing from, totaling $563. No one else, aside from his family and friends, have any interest or tie to this article or its outcome. They would be able to find out about his arrest through other avenues. However small the amount of time and energy spent on this story, it was not very well spent.
News blurbs are effective quick-to-inform tools–when they are warranted.
The blurb doesn’t quite cut it however, when the story is an important local issue printed in a local paper.
Daily News staff writer Jessica Bautista’s blurb titled “Library group hissing over broken boiler that closed branch” (the headline is almost as long as the article), deals with an important ongoing issue and leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
As a lowly graduate student, I don’t want to pick on Ms. Bautista too much, but just a little further digging and reporting would have helped the story. Library closure stories should not be haphazardly reported in Philadelphia. The city’s budget deficit and the potential closing of libraries are enormously time-relevant.
The Coalition to Save the Libaries’ accusation that the city is essentially hiding behind lies–the Eastwick library being closed due to a failed boiler–is a bold statement. The obvious question is “Why hasn’t the city fixed the boiler?” Bautista asks this question, but stops with the city official’s response.
How much would it cost to fix the boiler? Has the city even looked into the costs? Has the Coalition looked into this matter? If the boiler cannot be legitimately fixed at this particular time, what other options have the city and/or the Coalition pursued to keep the library open?
The article essentially is a “he said/she said” about a very important issue. Give the reader a little more, please.
HOWL! By the way–this review is actually longer than the article.
Photo from user chrisc25 on flickr.com.