2 posts in one!!!

First, here is further commentary on my previous post:
Today the Arizona State University State Press reported about a recent sexual assault. The reporter wrote about the crime in the passive voice.

"ASU police are investigating a sexual assault on a female ASU student that occurred on Alpha Drive early Sunday morning..."

This portrayal of the events takes the pressure off of the suspect. That opening sentence should have looked like this:

"ASU police are investigating a sexual assault, in which a male sexually assaulted a female ASU student."

Notice the change. This is a more honest portrayal of the crime but the reporter and editor failed to write it this way. Unfortunately the media often reports male on female sexual assaults in the passive voice.

For the original article go here.
For "my" edited article go here.
To write the state press to say they need to improve the way they report sexual assaults click here.

Second, on Saturday I went to the Arizona State University & Arizona football game.  Unfortunately I allowed myself to be a bystander.  I just stood there, doing nothing, while some guys were harassing some girls.  This was happening not more than 10 feet away.  I could see it clear as day but I just stood there and let it happen.  

How can I claim to be a champion of the oppressed if I remain silent?  Lesson is to never just be a bystander.  Take action.  I think about numerous times where I've failed to take action and they really gnaw away at my self respect, as if I'm shaming myself.


Matt said...

Actually, passive voice is allowed in the lead of an article. Are you criticizing my reporting of the story, or just the structure of the lead?

You reposted an incorrectly edited version of an article I wrote, with unwarranted criticism of passive voice, wrote a bad headline, suggested that readers email me, but then didn't email me yourself.

But I appreciate the feedback. Hopefully no one confuses your example of bad newswriting with my article.


Matt Culbertson

CresceNet said...
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Anonymous said...

Yes, you are an idiot rarehero. If the crime already happened, then it should be past tense, YOU IDIOT!!!

anj said...

past tense is expressing action, activity, state or being in the past. Passive voice is a passive construction that occurs when you make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence. That is, whoever or whatever is performing the action is not the grammatical subject of the sentence. Take a look at this passive rephrasing of a familiar joke:

Why was the road crossed by the chicken?

Passive voice is very different from past tense.
matt, rarehero should have highlighted the edits in some way.

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