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Canzano "Lost and Found" on Freeman Williams

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 212areacode, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. 212areacode

    212areacode Member

    I'm slow getting to this but Freeman Williams and Canzano hanging in a crack alley gets my attention every time.

  2. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    did paul allen pay for the crack?
  3. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Excellent story... definitely a different ending.
  4. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Superb ending.
  5. wilt100

    wilt100 New Member

    Definitely a compelling piece, but considering he had clearly made his point - Williams is down on his luck and hard up - the ending is patronizing, gratuitous and completely unnecessary.
  6. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    I definitely see your point. I didn't think about it in those terms, but I can definitely see why people would think that.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I liked it very much.
  8. 212areacode

    212areacode Member

    I didn't think the ending was unnecessary at all. I was hanging all the way to the last word. The ending felt real to me.... and that should be the objective in journalism. Could Canzano have left out that Freeman asked to borrow $20? I suppose he could have and it would have made Freeman (who was sort of claiming he wasn't down and out) seem less desperate but is it really the role of a journalist to clean up the story? I don't think so and in fact I'd criticize Canzano who I like for filtering the truth had he done so.

    The best part of the Freeman piece was that it wasn't dripping with melodrama and it didn't feel forced in the least bit because it felt so real to me.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with the ending, I have a problem with the beginning. Big jump between a guy being down on his luck enough to ask to borrow $20 and saying he is (or, hey, maybe he isn't) a crackhead living in an alley, according to a liquor store clerk, a prostitute and a homeless man called Santa. Normal people may get to decide that if B is true, A must be true, too, but I don't think journalists ought to put it out there without being able to say it's true for sure.
  10. 212areacode

    212areacode Member

    Respectfully, it didn't confuse me in the least. He points out very early, "Finding the truth about Freeman Williams is a complex task. So, a week later, I was back on a plane to Los Angeles, where Williams was waiting for me, ready to insist none of it could be true."

    I really liked it because I felt like the readers were there with the writer, trying to filter what is true and what is not. It really worked for me.

    Christ, how often can you get a protistute in the lead?
  11. Giggity

    Giggity Member

    Agree about the beginning, and I thought the ending was heavy-handed, too. Good column in the middle, but as a whole the column is typical of why Canzano is so frustrating.
  12. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    I really liked the fact Canzano wasn't afraid to make it clear he doesn't really know what's going on with Williams, while at the same time making it perfectly clear to everyone that the question is really only what degree of trouble he's in. I loved the ending. When a guy who just met you asks you for $20, it says more about the situation than any writer could.
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