Report on Baltimore Police Shooting Is Textbook Example of How to Not Write Journalism

“Police-involved shooting” is the euphemism the Objective Journalist™ uses when a cop shoots someone.

In a recent example of this Orwellian exercise in euphemisms at work, a Baltimore CBS affiliate published an article titled “1 Injured In Baltimore Police-Involved Shooting.”

This story is a textbook example of how to not write journalism.

Although the headline would not tell you, police shot a man. From the headline, however, it appears that police are not guilty of shooting someone, just “involved.”

The story describes the event as “a police-involved shooting that left one man injured. … Shots rang out … According to police, when officers chased the suspect, they produced a weapon which caused an officer to fire his gun.”

Note: The victim was “left injured”; the shot just magically “rang out”; there is no clear action. Moreover, the suspect caused the officer to fire his gun. The only agent acting in this situation is the suspect/victim himself.

Pay attention to the use of purposefully ambiguous language and the passive voice.

Journalists have to literally try to write articles like this; they have to go out of their way to side with and defend the police.

This is just another example of “neutral,” “objective” corporate media journalism at work. Yet another incident to add to The Adventures of the Objective Journalist™.