Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crime Reporters Look Sooooo Tough

The latest media frivolity to irk me enough to waste Google's blogging space is how crime & punishment/crime & justice/law & order reporters pose like they're really tough. Making yourself seem like a bully dressed in business casual clothes isn't fooling anyone. How about you just, I don't know, report the story and let it stand on its own? This is found in the dying field that is newspaper reporting as well as news for lazy thinkers that is your local news broadcast.

Is it too much to ask these guys to just have their pictures taken without them trying be all tough? No study has shown a relation between taking an aggressive headshot and better writing. Looking strong doesn't mean you're taking a strong stance on crime. It doesn't validate your reporting or make you any more credible. It just makes you look like other crime & justice reporters who are scared.

Crime and justice reporters have nothing on NKOTB when it comes to being the toughest. Are you tough enough?

For your amusement, I present an assortment of these tough guys and gals on crime who "are working for you," "are on your side," and "are taking on the big guys" so "you're not scammed." I'm not judging what they write (because I haven't read any of their work), but how they're presented.

Peter Hermann (Baltimore Sun) - Just about the most pensive crossed arm stance you can take. This actually makes him look scared instead of tough. Would it have killed him to iron his khakis? How about buying a pair that's the right length for your inseam? I don't iron mine, but for the one day when I'd have my picture taken I would have found one, damnit. Also, the Sun's art department did him no favors shrinking his head.

Amanda Lamb (WRAL-TV (North Carolina)) - An innocent picture because it lacks arm crossing, but a closer look reveals an aggressive facial contortion asking if you wanna fight. "Come on punk, just try me." Resting her head on the bent arm and fist says she means business. Of course she just had to be shot in front of a brick wall as if she's always on the street looking for stories. Excellent makeup foundation work though.

Freeman Klopott and Scott McCabe (Washington Examiner) - I love the dual crossed arms! It's so intense. And the way Freeman (I think he's on the left) rolled up his sleeves shows you how hard he's working...that's right, so hard he had to roll them up! They sure look pissed off and serious about reporting crime. No smiles here. If the Examiner was as serious about reporter posing as these guys show, it could at least increase their picture's resolution.

Carrie Petersen (Albany (Oregon) Democrat Herald) - Proof that not every crime beat reporter has to intimidate readers for visual validity. Oh my gosh, she's actually smiling in her profile picture! And what's that? She's in the newsroom! How will the Democrat Herald ever get people to read her crime reports? Oh that's right, they'll read it because of its quality.

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