I did an interview yesterday with a nice young man from the UMass Journo program for his final paper -- specifically involving my favorite course, Journalism Ethics.
The easy question concerned whether I ever hesitate publishing names and addresses of perps arrested for bad behavior. Well, no.
But as usual it's the gray area questions that make you think. Such as: do I give unfair out-of-proportion weight to one story or series of stories? That I get accused of all the time. Again talking Party Houses, DUI, and in general, rowdy student behavior.
As of this morning, over 6 years, I've published 2,539 posts. I did not even start my popular "Party House of The Weekend" series until November, 2010 and I have published under 200 of those, or less than 10%.
Or as a professional flack would say, "90% of Larry's stories do not concern rowdy student party houses."
My DUI Dishonor Role started 18 months ago, so there have been only around 30 of those posts, and only about half the "winners" are students. So once again a very tiny percentage of overall articles.
And the widget on my main page that calculates my most "popular posts" of all time show 6 out of 10 are not related to rowdy student behavior. Thus I never feel pressured to come up with stories to fit that preordained narrative.
These days I have three levels of response to a story: Level one is no more than a tweet. Something I hear on the scanner or a quick photo of something that is borderline interesting, but not worthy of much more than 140 characters (but a photo is still worth 1,000 words).
Level 2 is it's worth more than a tweet, so it gets posted to my Facebook page (always a photo) as well.
And Level 3 is something that has risen to the level of posting here on the blog with a link (and intro headline) crossposted on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. But yes, I occasionally have a slow news day where something whimsical still gets Level 3 treatment.
"Electric Flurry" photo tweeted last night around 10:00 PM
Last night, normally a Level 2 story, is a good example. I expected the concert at the Mullins Center to be more of a problem than it turned out to be. At 10:00 PM I tweeted a photo of the concert in progress with the report that AFD had already transported one to the hospital.
And then, the next morning (today) I posted on Facebook another photo from later in the concert when foam was being sprayed on concertgoers with the report that the event actually went quite well and the crowd was very well behaved.
Electric Flurry follow up photo posted to Facebook this AM
So sure, if it had been the disaster like some of the previous techno concerts I would have used a heavier Level 3 response.
And railed against the Mullins Center, UMass and clueless parents over youthful patrons tying up emergency responders due to their irresponsible activity, which I find unacceptable.
Now, however, the Mullins Center "Electric Flurry" concert has just risen to a Level 3 story anyway.
And yes, today has been a slow news day ... so far.