Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why I Don't Cover Crime Stories.

Why do I have to wake up to four—count 'em, fourmessages telling me about everything I'm doing wrong with this blog?

So far this morning, because I've chosen not to cover most crime stories in this site, I've been told that I'm:

1) guilty of censorship
2) not fair to the public
3) totally not cool or acceptable
4) ridiculous
5) wishy washy
6) required to rectify this situation


You know, I'm a morning person. I usually wake up in a chipper mood. But buddy, this morning, you just opened one big-ass can of bitch.


Editor's note: The remainder of this blog post will be divided into two sections: Section I, which is the part where I get really pissed off and yell a lot, and Section II, in which I calmly discuss my philosophy. Readers with a low bitchiness tolerance threshold are hereupon advised to skip to Section II.


Section I.

So you're gonna talk smack to me because I let people know about food trucks? Because every once in a while I DO decide to cover a crime story? Because I'm "not planning on covering everything about Granada Hills"? Do you think this is the New York Motherfucking Times I'm running here?

Here's the part I really don't get: your threat to "unsubscribe." Buddy, if you've been paying a subscription fee, you've been sending it to the wrong address, because I haven't seen a dime of your dough.

You have no idea how much time—and money—it would take to cover "everything about Granada Hills." You are completely clueless. To make matters worse, you carry on as if I somehow owe you this sort of complete coverage, for free, and for no salary. I am one person, doing this blog in my spare and not-so-spare time. I live in Granada Hills, and I love Granada Hills. That, and nothing more, is what I put on offer here. Take it, or leave it.

You're also trying to spook me with your warning that "maybe people will start going to another site to get their local Granada Hills coverage"? Maybe they will. I invite you to do so. You can start here: GHScoop.com. Oh, whoops, broken link. But AOL is also planning more hyperlocal coverage with their "Patch" sites, and they've even got a job opening for editor of the Granada Hills Patch. Why don't you apply? You obviously know a metric fuckton about all of this stuff, so go to it! Hell, you could even start your own blog! No one's stopping you! It's a free country! I'll be anxious to see what you come up with, but I'm sure a blog by someone who's most recent Facebook post was "Aw dawg I think I Shit my pants! P U" is going to be great!



Section II.


My philosophy is this. Plenty of outlets cover crime stories. In fact, that's typically the only type of news coverage Granada Hills gets—crime and the occasional natural or man-made disaster. Worldwide, we're best known for Buford Furrow and for being fairly close to the epicenter of the Northridge earthquake.

And yeah, we've got crime. Just like everywhere else does. Except we've got less of it. News flash: Granada Hills is a low-crime neighborhood. We're one of L.A.'s safer areas. That's one of the best parts of living here. We're not a magical utopian fairyland, but neither is anyplace else on the planet.

I rather enjoy the fact that we're living in one of the lowest crime communities in Los Angeles, and I don't enjoy harping on the fact that crime still exists here. How does that help anyone? How does that enlighten anyone? How would that make this blog anything more than a glorified police blotter?

I only cover crime stories if something about the crime moves me or cracks me up. I covered the tenth anniversary of the North Valley Jewish Community Center shootings because I felt the story was poignant and enlightening. I covered the story about the chick named Crystal Snow White getting arrested for cocaine because the chick's name was Crystal Snow White. And I wrote that piece about the pot farm house because I just woke up in the mood to write a meterless rhyming piece of marijuana-related free verse.


We all know that crime happens. What I like to do is tell people something they didn't know.
Like:
  • Balboa Youth Sports Complex is getting shut down.
  • The guy who collects all of the Granada Hills weather data won three emmys for his work on Night Court.

I don't believe that anyone's life is enriched by knowing the details of every carjacking, burglary, or wife-beating that happens in their neighborhood. All that does is heighten the too-common misconception that crime is on the rise when in fact the opposite is true, and it reinforces the idea that people should view all strangers as potential threats.

I also don't think that Parade Magazine-style happy helmet reporting does anybody any good either. But why should I bother to cover crime stories when there are so many other places where people can get all-you-can-stomach crime stories 24/7? Anyone who wants to enjoy a good horror show can turn to one of the many if it bleeds, it leads local TV news stations, or just click over to the deeply flawed Megan's Law website if you're craving a nice paranoia-inducing jolt.

My editorial policy is this: If a story doesn't either (a) increase your capacity for self-governance, (b) enhance your sense that you live in a real community, populated by real people who live interesting lives, (c) make someone, somewhere, laugh or (d) let you know about a good place to eat, then I'm just not going to bother.

33 comments:

  1. You go, GigaGirl! You can't please everyone, and if some so-called adults don't like your site they can certainly "unfriend" it. There are several other Granada Hills sites, although I'm sure the same Debbie and Donnie Downers have negative things to say on those, too. I enjoy the random connectedness of your site, and I'm glad you're not changing it! Thank you, Chris Starkman Granada Hills

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  2. Somebody just got told!!!!! I love your site and glad to hear positive things that are happening in our neighborhood. If I want to hear about crime I just tune into my local news, they've got plenty of it, unfortunately. Keep up the good work!

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  3. Giga stick with what you know which is nothing! Your site is weak and pathetic and yes I will unfriend it because your nothing but a lazy ignorant individual who is running a poor half Ass site with basically useless information and stories that would put anybody's dog to sleep. Your site should be called pathetic stories and useless info.com get a life giga.

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  4. I find it funny that you wrote a whole article on my constructive criticism Lmao! Have you ever considered Anger Management Giga? Lmao

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  5. ^^^
    This Cristian Branchesi guy is a joke. He won't even reply with his name, preferring to hide behind "Anonymous", yet he's telling you to "get a life". Irony at it's finest.

    I agree with you 100%. You keep your site interesting, and I learn something from nearly every article you write. If I wanted to read about crime, I would pull up the LAPD Crime Maps page. But I don't want to hear about crime. Crime is boring material.

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  6. A. Devandry your a joke and a nobody so why don't you go play in the Freeway my friend Suck it easy Ass Devandry

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  7. A. Devandry you are an AMBULANCE chaser that's all if you wanna talk smack about or to me bring it my friend because I can insult you 1000 different ways. Go ahead and reply and see how I rip you a new one! Make my day lmao

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  8. Linda:

    Its your site, and you have every right to put anything you want on it. Most of your posts are interesting and good reading. If they are not of interest, then I don't read them, simple, no? More importantly to me, you have been a huge supporter of the Neighborhood Councils and other community groups. Certainly, your article on our recent movie night helped get the word out and made it a huge sucsess.

    For those who want more crime stories, well, read the daily News, go to your local Neighborhood Watch meetings, or sign up to the Granada Hills Arrest Records site.

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  9. Giga Granada Hills is in business with The Crepe Truck this explains why Giga is always advertising and giving the time and place of the Crepe truck. Giga gets a commission for posting the Crepe trucks time and location. That is a dirty thing you are doing Giga advertising for referal/comission not being very honest with the Granada Hills community. People will realize that your only doing this to make your commission.

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  10. Wow. Go Linda.

    I liked both the rant and the logical explanation. I love your blog. I go as often as I can spend time going to blogs, and sometimes I go there for no other reason, than to click on every one of your ads!

    I don't think you're "in business" with the Crepe truck, but I am extremely glad that you tell us when they're coming and I would gladly support your getting a commission. But I hope you would continue to tell us when all of the food trucks are coming. Especially after yesterday's brouhaha in City Council committee because some people want them banned and I, of course, want more of them!

    Thank you for working your butt off writing about our most awesome community for free and I concur with Dave that we love you for supporting both Granada Hills North and Granada Hills South Neighborhood Councils.

    Now I will go click some more of your ads...

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  11. i love this site. it gives me a sense of real community rather than just being part of larger los angeles area. i don't need to have crime postings here; i can find that elsewhere. just keep doing the good job of sharing what's happening in the town. thanks for your hard work.

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  12. Granada Hills is a community that is run by an older generation crowd therefore enjoy your so called Crepe truck because I guarantee you that the city council will eventually ban all food trucks including the Crepe truck in G.H. The older people of Granada Hills do not want food trucks in Granada Hills and they will persuade city council to ban them. City council rules in their favor about 90% of the time. So bye bye Crepe truck lol.

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  13. Censorship? I think censorship would be if you were somehow prohibited from knowing about crime at all. This isn't the Soviet bloc buddy, you have many choices for your daily dose of gore. If you're truly that concerned about being in the know about local petty theft and vandalism, join a neighborhood watch or something, don't make a spectacle about it in an unrelated forum.

    I for one love this blog and love that it highlights our local eccentricities and successes. Keep on truckin' my friend.

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  14. Oh, and why are these blathering idiots still on about crepe trucks? Is someone force feeding your crepes? If so, please link the youtube. These are probably the same schmucks who didn't want a wal-mart in town, not because of the potential ill effects on local businesses but simply because it would bring "the wrong kind of people" into town.

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  15. Katy your a blabbering idiot so quit flapping your Gums lol.

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  16. Katy I appologize for calling you a blabbering idiot I've just been informed that you are a Mentally challenged person I do not and will not make fun of a mentally disabled person so my apology once again.

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  17. Inspector Doofus wrote:

    "That is a dirty thing you are doing Giga advertising for referal/comission not being very honest with the Granada Hills community."



    Dear Inspector Doofus,

    Oh, how perfectly dreadful. You've uncovered my "dirty, not very honest" secret: that I accept paid advertisements. You must have been clever enough to move your gaze slightly to the right-hand side of the screen, and noticed that, taking up about 1/3 of the browser window, there is -- quelle horreur! -- a series of paid advertisements. Oh the shame. I was hoping no one would notice.

    Yes, I admit the deed. It's true. Local businesses, such as L.A. Pizza, support me, and I in turn do everything I possibly can to support them. I also do occasional barter arrangements with business owners, just to provide a cash-free alternative. Elementary, my dear Doofus: it's called commerce.

    And yes, my co-conspirators at the Crepe Truck did in fact pay me 25 dollars -- 15 of those in the form of crepes -- for a one-time promotion to my Twitter and Facebook followers. But I like Jamey and his crepes so much, I've continued to promote his visits to our food-truck starved area without demanding any additional crepes in return, just because I think he's a good guy and a talented chef. No other food truck has paid me any advertising fee, but I regularly let people know about their visits when I find out about them as well, just because I figure people would want to know.

    Hey, as long as you've got your detective skills are all nice and oiled up, perhaps you should also contact the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Fox News, KABC-TV, and just about every other media outlet in the known universe as well, to complain about their "dirty" practice of accepting advertising dollars (or perhaps even crepes!) to support the content they provide online at no cost to the reader. Oh, and don't forget to complain to PBS and NPR for those dirty, filthy pledge drives they keep having too, the bastards.

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  18. Your critic should learn not to pick fights with those who buy pixels by the gigabyte...

    Best

    Brad Smith

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  19. I think you're rad. Everyone loves to be negative and critical. Keep up the great work. I appreciate what you're doing here.

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  20. This site is fun and makes my day! It's creepy, downer dan's that need to go somewhere else!

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  21. Don't feed the illiterate trolls, it only encourages them.

    Viva Giga Granada Hills !

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  22. Linda:

    Pay no attention; there is at least one (and often more) in every crowd. I can read about crime (if I ever really feel the need) in many places. However, there are few places beyond your blog where I can read about the truly interesting, eclectic, and bizarre things going on locally.

    Tom

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  23. P.S. In the interest of accuracy, I should point out that only one of the Emmys was for Night Court. The other two were for Barbara Streisand's Millinneum Show "Barbara Streisand: Timeless", and for Frank Sinatra's 80th Birthday Show "Frank Sinatra: 80 Years My Way".

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  24. Barbara Streisand is only 80? I had no idea. Sorry for the mixup.

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  25. Linda, you are doing a service and for those who don't want it, then stop reading it your idiots! On to bigger and better, without them! Keep it up

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  26. Lisa Fredricks Parker SandozAugust 13, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    I love you, I love your blog, I love what you are doing. PLEASE keep doing exactly what you are doing, whatever way you want to do it. There is so much NEED for what you do here! And anyway, snickering over the asinine comments of the jackasses is entertainment in and of itself!

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  27. Giga:

    Net trolls, such as our cowardly and anonymous friend, only have the power we give them. Ignore him and he will eventually slink back to the bridge he crawled out from under.

    Your blog is well written, entertaining and frequently reaffirms my need to move to GH.


    Mr. Troll:

    If you really don't have something worth while to say, I suggest you do as my friend has suggested: Create your own blog and spew your vitriol there. Your unintelligent braying and callous insults are neither welcomed nor appreciated. You insist that you will stop reading this blog and that you will even unfriend it. Yet, you persist in your base arguments. If you truly wish to stop reading this blog, do so. No one here is stopping you. Go back to your bridge or to the net ether, from whence you came.

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  28. I've learned more about this town from this blog! I like the fact that you don't cover all the crimes that happen here, what would fun about reading about that?

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  29. I hope the loser troll left -- and really, pay no attention to him!! He is an idiot and ignorant fool.

    I was born and raised in GH but moved years ago. I live in a town that has a much closer sense of community and it bums me out that GH hasn't really had that. Then I saw on someone's fb page that they liked Giga Granada HIlls. I checked it out and was amazed -- a BLOG about GH!! It really is possible for miracles to happen! I was amazed and happy to see lots of great articles and that so much more is now going on in GH, like the Farmer's Market. And the crepe truck sounds super-awesome too, wish I lived closer and could check it out. So tell Mr. Naysayer to GET A LIFE and leave you alone!!!! And don't change a thing!

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  30. Boy... am I GLAD you don't cover crime stories!

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  31. I vote for crepe truck coverage! Yea happiness, boo fearmongering.

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  32. I love your blog...for years I read a blog about a little neighborhood in Malone, New York. The blogger was funny and sarcastic. She told great stories about her little town...I was so happy when I found your blog. Thank you!!

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