Ignore facts, replace with drama

There’s a little publicized law of reporting that requires drama to be substituted for facts when reporters and editors ignore or don’t know the facts. This was illustrated in a Boston Globe story, Nov. 23, 2017, about a Boston North End fire in which two men died. The story reports: “By the time firefighters navigated through the North End’s maze of narrow streets, flames were pouring through windows on two floors, and smoke was coming out of the walls.”

The story was written by two reporters, with contributions from five Globe staffers. And evidently not one of them knew that the North End fire station, with  ladder and hose trucks, were three short blocks from the fire, about 200 yards down Hanover Street, the neighborhood’s main street.  A straight one-minute drive. Absolutely no “navigation through the North End’s maze of narrow streets.” 

File under: Creative “reporting.”

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