News Analysis of the Article: “Missing Jerseyville teen on the run with sex offender found safe in Colorado” by KVOM.com

Arica Blair, 15, was found safe in Pueblo, Colorado with convicted sex offender John David Allen, 23.

Additional details: Allen is being investigated for possible criminal charges. Blair has been taken into protective custody.

The article mentioned that Blair shut out anyone who didn’t support her relationship with Allen. Thankfully Blair was found safe. However, many unanswered questions remain such as, whether or not Blair’s family knew that Allen was a convicted sex offender and over the age of 18. If so, why didn’t the family take more action such as, getting the police involved? The family should have been interviewed, in order to find out how much they actually knew about Blair’s relationship with Allen.

Also, various sources should have been mentioned throughout the story. The following is an excerpt from the article:

“According to authorities, he has refused to register as a sex offender and was even arrested while on parole. He also has a laundry list of other crimes including burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

It’s vital to mention sources in a story because it adds credibility. Simply stating, “According to authorities…” isn’t good enough. Who exactly are the authorities? It’s important to be as specific as possible. It’s unlikely that the writer automatically knew about Allen’s criminal past. They had to have heard the information from somewhere else, so it’s important to mention the source(s). In this case, it seems as though the name of the police station should be mentioned.

Also, there weren’t any quotes included in the story. It would’ve been a great opportunity to include a few quotes from the family stating how they feel about Blair being found safe as well as a few quotes from the police department regarding Allen’s criminal history. The fact that sources and quotes are absent from this story begs the question of whether or not this publication actually contacted anyone or just gathered information from other publications instead.

Another thing that was baffling is the fact that the publication didn’t include Allen’s age. It seems as though that would’ve been one of the first things mentioned in the story. Also, the article doesn’t have an author. It has KMOV.com instead. This may be appropriate considering the fact that it’s a local television news station, but I’m not certain. I’m used to seeing a byline in articles.

Overall, the story was fair, informative, and well-written. However, sources and quotes should’ve been included in the story along with a few simple facts such as, the boyfriend’s age.

Here is the link to the original story:

http://www.kmov.com/news/local/15-year-old-girl-on-the-run-with-a-convicted-sex-offender-130162613.html

Photo courtesy of:

http://nancygrace.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/20/police-fear-for-missing-teen-believed-to-be-with-sexual-predator/?iref=obnetwork

NOTE: Because of the fact that Allen’s age wasn’t provided in the original story, I had to do some research of my own. Eventually, I came across his age in the link provided above.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to comment on this story.

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