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Question on AP Vick story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gil_Hicks, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Gil_Hicks

    Gil_Hicks New Member

    This is the lead...

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- When a Bad Newz Kennels dog was wounded in a losing fight, NFL star Michael Vick was consulted before the animal was doused with water and electrocuted. That's just one of the gruesome details that emerged Tuesday when the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and three others were indicted by a federal grand jury.

    My question is, doesn't "allegedly" HAVE to be in that first sentence?
     
  2. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    Unless they have proof, I'd think so.
     
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    It is "alleged" until proven factual. Indictments are formal accusations, by definition.
    That's pretty much standard operating proceedure.
     
  4. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    "allegedly" probably doesn't belong. It's a word that generally should be avoided in crime reporting for something else that makes clear an accusation is being discussed.

    Sourcing the first sentence to the indictments would take care of the accusation. One could argue that's taken care of in the second sentence, but I probably would move it up to the first.
     
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I think not, simply because they attribute the source in the next sentence -- the indictment.
     
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    No allegedly needed. You're saying what is in the indictment. That's what's in the indictment.
     
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    AP Stylebook says:

    allege The word must be used with great care.
    Some guidelines:
    –Avoid any suggestion that the writer is making an allegation.
    –Specify the source of an allegation. In a criminal case, it should be an arrest record, an indictment or the statement of a public official connected with the case.
    –Use alleged bribe or similar phrase when necessary to make it clear that an unproved action is not being treated as fact. Be sure that the source of the charge is specified elsewhere in the story.
    –Avoid redundant uses of alleged. It is proper to say: The district attorney alleged that she took a bribe. Or: The district attorney accused her of taking a bribe. But not: The district attorney accused her of allegedly taking a bribe.
    –Do not use alleged to describe an event that is known to have occurred, when the dispute is over who participated in it. Do not say: He attended the alleged meeting when what you mean is: He allegedly attended the meeting.
    –Do not use alleged as a routine qualifier. Instead, use a word such as apparent, ostensible or reputed.
     
  8. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    AJC's lede:

    "Losers ALLEGEDLY didn't fare too well with Michael Vick."

    Sidenote: this lede works on multiple levels, mosty because Vick, himself, is a giant loser.
     
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Understandable why you'd put that detail up top to grab the reader's attention, but it reads like "Michael Vick electrocuted a dog". Even if you point out the indictment in the next sentence, it still seems shaky.
     
  10. boots

    boots New Member

    AP should have used alleged somewhere in the lede but they do allude to the indictment, which gets them off the hook, barely.
     
  11. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    Disagree. The lead was fine as it was.
     
  12. I'm not comfortable with that lead. Reads way too much like fact, even the second sentence. I'd prefer to see the attribution in the first sentence and done differently ... such as, according to an indictment.

    News writing ain't rocket science.
     
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