Sunday, February 22, 2009

Score one for the Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun seems to take a lot of criticism these days, but I thought this story in Sunday's paper, "Distrust, fear limit homicide convictions," was well-reported and written and worth the time it took to read it. (It's not all that long, anyway.)

It has a sharp lead that draws you in. After that, something significant happens in every sentence -- and each sentence is clear, tight and direct. Really, throughout the whole story, it's hard to find a weak sentence or anyplace where the story does not move briskly forward. The tone of the piece is sober, as opposed to being hysterical or sappy, either of which it could have been given the subject material.

The piece also delivers several fascinating bits of information. I don't want to spoil it -- they're better if you come across them in the story -- but they're about things like jury misconduct and one reason why a witness might not come forward right away.