Writog

Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2017 Luke T. Bush

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Writog: writer-photographer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"News" Ten Days Old


The term "news" implies new. And when it isn't, people use the pejorative "old news."

Newspapers are supposed to report news.

Yesterday on the Press-Republican website there was a breaking story headlined "Student riot brings damages, police to local VFW," posted at 10:49 AM May 19th.

The article describes the violence that erupted during a dance for about 300 Clinton Community College students and their guests at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 125 on Boynton Avenue in Plattsburgh City. The event was private, booked by students; it wasn't sponsored by the college or any of its affiliated organizations. Multiple law enforcement agencies ended up on the scene: Plattsburgh Police Department, Clinton County Sheriff, New York State Police and Plattsburgh State University Police. Six people were arrested and several were injured.

What is notable about this breaking story is that the incident occurred on May 8th. A few reader comments at the PR site have brought up the issue why it took the PR so long to report the incident.

According to the PR, witnesses provided details to the paper about the riot. Later in the story there is some information provided by Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot after he was contacted by the newspaper on Tuesday (May 17). Maybe I'm reading too closely but I get the impression that the PR got most of its information from witnesses first, then had to follow up with the Plattsburgh PD.

If that's the case, I'm not surprised. Years ago I mentioned an incident to a reporter who thanked me because the Plattsburgh PD was tight-lipped about most of its activities. The reporter was able to follow up my tip and get more details from the PD. Recently there has been an iron curtain regarding the investigation into the brutal beating of Christopher Rigsbee and his girlfriend back in November 2010. The PD remains secretive.

The student riot article should be appearing in today's PR print edition. Today happens to be graduation day at Clinton Community College, a detail that leads to some speculation on why the story has taken so long to be reported. One wonders if the incident would have ever gone public if the witnesses hadn't come forward. Or what would have been the reaction if the story had appeared sooner. Obviously for those parties concerned about image, it would've been better for the story to appear later, like after graduation -- or better yet, never.

At the PR website some readers have made comments like "Next time -- fire hoses & German shepherds," "I have never seen a town have more problems with college kids than Plattsburgh," and "They should've [pepper] sprayed & arrested every single person there,imo." Such an incident doesn't make the local colleges or the city look good. It's bad PR -- as in public relations.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yea, college students should be pepper sprayed, beat up...right? After the kids have left, and taken their money with them, how much of town will be left? What will be Plattsburgh's reason for existing? If anybody should gassed and beaten a series of horrible city governments might be excellent candidates, those people who allowed other endeavors to slip away leaving college students as the only real source of revenue, well besides the toilet paper factory, of course. Think about that before advocating nazi tactics.

5:03 PM  

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