Sunday, June 19, 2011

Things are current at the Courant

One of the gems of the journalism world is The Boston Courant. This is a weekly newspaper focusing on several Boston neighborhoods -- the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Downtown, Fenway, and the South End. Publisher David Jacobs maintains a mixture of big and small news, seriousness and humor, in producing a paper that is remarkably engaging.

There is no website, so I can't refer you to stories in that way. One of my favorite sections is Jennifer Maiola's "Police Report." Drawing on reported crimes, she creates pathos and drama for the casual observer:

Heart Burned

On Friday, June 10 at 9:45pm, District 4 detectives were monitoring the Pine Street Inn area for prostitution when they spotted a woman standing on East Berkeley Street. An undercover officer drove by, and she flagged him down. The woman, adorned with a heart tattoo on her chest, got in and told him to drive to a nearby parking lot. She offered to get his heart racing for $40.

Clearly, she wasn't looking for a man after her heart, but this one didn't even want her body: The officer issued her a summons to Boston Municipal Court for sexual conduct for a fee.

But, the paper also acts to maintain standards of service in the community, getting the attention of slow moving governmental bureaucracies:

Residents Worry About Bad Sign
By Ashlee Fairey

Street signs throughout the neighborhood are faded, corroded and covered in graffiti or simply missing, concerned residents say.

"They've been in that condition for a long period of time, particularly on Boylston Street near the Victory Gardens, and where The Fenway meets Boylston Street by Mother's Rest," said resident Matthew Brooks.

...Due to a missing one-way sign this past February, traffic began traveling down Kilmarnock Street in the wrong direction.

With the major media focused on earth-shaking events, it is heartening to know that a newspaper dedicated to the neighborhoods still has a place.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog post from a while back regarding JD-MPH and other degrees for health care. I know that you will have probably answered my main question in that post, however I was wondering if you could elaborate slightly on the role a lawyer might play in a hospital setting. My health care experience is limited and I am currently switching majors to achieve a career in the field, and have considered a JD-MPH degree; or at least up until I read your post. I am interested in Law and Medicine, so I wondered how one might combine the two.

Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

>>One of my favorite sections is Jennifer Maiola's "Police Report."

I can't swear that this is related, because it's the Courant's competitor, but the South End News uses a similar style for their Police Blotter.

About 10 years ago, I attend a talk by a retired Boston Police patrolman who had written the SE News Police blotter column for many years. He had been recruited to write the column during the 1970's when the then-Community Service Officer was out sick. With his high school education and salty style, he wrote up the stories the only way he could- full of humor and typos. The SE News didn't have much of an editorial staff at the time, so they ran his stories as-is.

When the regular author came back to work, the newspaper's readers demanded that this guy stay on.

I wish I could remember his name, but he was a big, funny, stereotypical Irish cop who had worked 30+ years on the streets.