On opening day Giants fan, Bryan Stow (shown right with kids) was brutally beaten by two Dodgers fans outside of Dodger stadium after the match-up. The story has made national headlines and several mainstream papers have covered the issue of possibly the National League's most heated rivalry.
USA Today ran a follow-up article on their website on Sunday, April 10 that caught my attention. The main news of the story was that the Dodgers would be stepping up security at the ballpark by adding more LAPD officers.
However, the writer took a much more human interest approach to the story. The lede told how the Giants fan was supposed to be at AT&T Park Friday when the Giants hung up their World Series banner and was followed by a strong quote from a cousin of Stow's and then this paragraph.
Instead, the crowd held a moment of silence Friday for the paramedic and father of two from Santa Cruz, Calif., who remains in critical condition in a Los Angeles hospital with brain damage of uncertain extent after he was attacked in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day, wrote USA Today.
I thought this approach worked well and this third paragraph was a strong one. The writer chose to write the story to make it more personable for readers and even ended with strong, emotional quotes from Stow's father about the hope of his son pulling through.
This article was well written and worked because the writer chose to go in depth more on the story of the fan while also reporting that the Dodgers were stepping up security. At the same time, the writer was considerate of the situation with the fan and his family and reported the situation in a delicate manner.
The writing was crisp and clear and did not quote anonymous sources, which made it an enjoyable story to read. Other articles I read on this same story simply reported the Dodgers boosting security and had a small update on how the fan was doing in the hospital.
However, an article on the San Francisco Chronicle website on Sunday, April 10 also took a similar approach with a lede that detailed the brutal scene in which a Dodgers fan shot and killed a Giants fan in 2003. The writer followed up with strong quotes throughout the article, one coming from the Giants' senior vice president of ballpark operations.
Could a Stow-like incident happen outside AT&T? It's possible, Costa said. "It's pretty clear that the fan base has changed" for the better since the club moved to the new park, he said. "But I have to tell you, there's a certain percentage of the fan base that is not there for the game at all. If you look at this place as a small city of 42,000, there's a percentage of people who don't care," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.
While this article didn't cover the full story of Stow, it was longer than the USA Today story and went more in-depth about fan vs. fan brutality over the years while still including a human element to the story.
Both articles went with strong ledes that evoked emotion and set up the rest of the article in a delicate way that captures readers. Both writers covered the stories effectively without including themselves and their own feelings into it. These articles were good examples of strong journalism and what writers should strive for in objective as possible news writing about an issue that almost everyone has a strong opinion on right now.