The Daily DOB — Aug. 18

August 18, 2015 3 Comments

Every now and then we’ll get an upset customer. Closing in on three years on the crime beat, I’m surprised I don’t get more calls like the one I got on Monday morning. It was from a family member upset that we wrote about their loved one’s crime in the paper. The person thought we were trying to embarrass the person by writing about the situation.

While I was getting my feet wet on the crime beat, I covered a lot of stuff. Eventually, I figured out that writing about everything wasn’t possible. So I have a few rules about what catches my interest and dictates what we bring to you in the newspaper.

In Illinois, which is where I do most of my coverage, I will follow everything that is charged as a Class 1 felony or higher, which includes Class X (serious drug cases) and Class M (murder). Almost all of these charges are not eligible for probation. The case that woman was upset about was a Class 1 residential burglary, which is not eligible for probation.

We will write about all felony sex crimes. I also try to write as much as I can about aggravated domestic battery cases, which are among the toughest cases to get convictions.

Felony crimes against children will be tracked as will any other “notorious crimes” like DUIs where death or serious injury was involved.

There is a method to the madness of being a crime reporter. We never cover things to embarrass people.

If you’re embarrassed about having your name in the paper for committing a crime, I have a suggestion for you.

Don’t break the law.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Jg says:

    What about when the charges are dropped because their is no evidence? Then it gets a very small blurb if anything.

  2. dobrien says:

    JG,

    I do my best to follow cases to their conclusion — be it a conviction or an acquittal. I have no vested interested other than making sure the reader is informed of what is happening in the community.

    We just had charges dropped in a case that was connected with a murder that received a full story on the front page of the paper on Aug. 1. I would think that qualifies as more than a small blurb.

    I thank you for reading.

    DOB

  3. Andy says:

    Girls teams work just as hard as the boys teams!

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