Originally Published: July 16, 2007 4:31 p.m.
From time to time people complain that we should have "investigated" something more than we did.
Specifically, I am referring to car accidents, theft reports, murders and such. It's not the cases that irk them, but our reporting from the police department reports.
Simply put: Like the FBI, we must follow the paper trail (the reports) for the basis of our stories, at least initially.
Often people complain "that's not how it happened." As a result, we have done two things: we ask them to contact the police, because it's their report that will stand in court; and we send reporters to the scene, whenever possible.
Sad part is the complainers often ask, "Why didn't you call me?"
First, we need a phone number before we can do that (can't use it if we don't know it). And, ironically, it's victims' information that the police often black out of the reports - a problem, but a different argument.
Tip of the iceberg: journalism involves a lot more than hearing about something and merely putting it in the paper or on the web.
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