Tuesday, February 6, 2007

But was he wearing a copper wire?

All Right. The Marianas Variety and the Saipan Tribune both got the story of a police sting of a recycler. From the court, and evidently from a few officers who were there.

Huzzah for the police.

The reporters, I dunno. Neither one thought it necessary to ask whether the transaction was caught on the legally required video, if it was installed. They didn't mention the required paperwork. They didn't bother to follow up on yesterday's Tribune story where one recycler alleged his competitors weren't following the law.

I'll flip a coin (a copper penny) to see who goes first. Okay, the Tribune then. The reporter could have been in court to witness Judge Wiseman's actions. Otherwise, except for one "according to court papers" and two "police said"s (I wonder if the 'police said' it together or one after another), none of the allegations in the newspaper are attributed to anyone. That's just sloppy.

The Variety reporter seems to be allergic to the word alleged. There is one "The police affidavit stated" (a 'talking paper', I guess) and one "It added". The rest of the allegations are repeated as if they were facts. That's just dangerous--to the newspaper.

Hint to reporters: if you want to have a better story than competitors, do more than stand around the courtroom. What the heck, another freebie: has there been any noticeable shortage of pennies on island? I don't think so, but who knows? The copper in them is probably still worth more than a penny. But nobody here would melt pennies; the U.S. Mint passed rules last month outlawing the practice. Who would want to break the law?

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