'Tell good stories'

Dateline: Wed 06 Aug 2008

The Poynter Institute has a story today about a story. Staff writer Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times wrote a 6,500 word article about a little girl found in a wretched home who was dubbed a feral child by social workers and police.

The child, about 5 or 6, was unable to speak or walk; she was lying on a filthy mattress, her matted hair infested with lice. The house, occupied by the child's mother and two older adult-age brothers, was a pigsty, with feces smeared on walls. The girl was wearing a diaper.

The point is that the Times delved into this story, which has a happy ending. One outcome is a debate about whether or not newspapers can still tell such stories (at such length) and still hold readers interest.

I think so.

Here is the link:

http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article750838.ece

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