Rotten Reporting: WYFF Takes on Fights That “Escalate”

28-year-old Rodney Powers of Greenville was “socializing” with several people including 33-year-old Raymond Williams early today. Witnesses say the two men were arguing and at some point Williams shot and killed Powers. Williams has been arrested and charged with murder.

WYFF, who don’t allow blogs to excerpt their reports even though those pieces are scrubbed from the web eventually which makes me think they don’t want people seeing how shoddy their coverage is of certain stories, wrote a fairly bad piece on this tragedy. But it was the title that shows you how little the reporters there think of you, and how hackneyed the local news writers are in this area:

Fight Escalates; Man Killed, Another Arrested

Forgive me for thinking that this title underestimates the audience a bit. Since a man who was murdered was witnessed arguing with his murderer we all know that a fight escalated. The WYFF web team doesn’t think you would pick up on that “subtle nuance” of a story about two men arguing and then one getting shot.

No offense but Greenville is not such a big city that using a murder suspects name in the title of a piece isn’t the best course of action. In NYC just printing “Jesus Garcia Arrested for Murder” would lead to dozens of Jesus’ being embarrassed but Greenville is not so large that there would be dozens if not hundreds of Ray Williams’.

And of course his picture is right there in the article.

This crime, while tragic, isn’t sensational. So there’s no need to do anything other than report the basics, which are that Ray Williams shot a man down and is charged with murder. “Escalation” didn’t kill Rodney Powers – Raymond Williams did. Had there been no argument it’s likely Williams would have killed Powers eventually because he clearly wanted to. The fact that a fight escalated to murder isn;t the lead here, it’s the death of a young man at the hands of a monster.

Why don’t the staff at WYFF see that?

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