December 3, 2010

Get me rewrite

Jumbo Dart:

What a way for the Journal-Sentinel to introduce the new district attorney for Calumet County, by reproducing an AP brief that leads with "once the victim of sexual assault" solely because her predecessor was the disgraced Ken Kratz, who resigned. Why should Kratz's exploits color the professional narrative of his successor?

They shouldn't. And it obviously wouldn't have been mentioned — certainly not in the lead — had the vacancy been caused by anyone but Kratz. Making that unwarranted connection is a real cheap angle.

At least, save it for a more sensitive treatment in a longer profile.

eta 1: Worse still, the Journal Broadcasting Group's TMJ-4 actually headlined the miniscule item, "Assault Victim to Replace Ken Kratz."

For crying out loud, it's a person, not a statistic.

eta 2: Much more of the person (but not enough less of Kratz).

eta 3: New DA provided the angle at a press conference: "Dietz says she took the allegations against Kratz very personally because she works to protect those victims and find justice for them. She was horrified by Kratz's behavior, and felt applying for the job was her calling." That sheds a far different light. WRN's reporting treats the matter least sensationally. Lesson: Read the longest accounts first.

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