Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear AP: Thank you for finally finishing the story.

TO: AP Wire Services:

Heads up! Journalism 101: Basic reporting in criminal court sentencing means identifying the sentencing judge.

However, missing from AP's earlier wire report featuring former city councilman Mario Beltran pleading guilty to a variety campaign law violations, (four misdemeanor counts of failing to file campaign disclosure forms and failing to deposit cash contributions); was the name of the sentencing judge.

This interested us as the judge dismissed several felony charges against the now former councilman, sentencing Beltran to (drum roll) probation.

We thought readers/voters might appreciate the given name of Judge Wrist Slap and complained.

The LA based AP reporter we spoke with refused to identify himself, (English accent) but continued to make excuses as to why the judge wasn't identified.

We obtained for readers, (voters) the name of Judge Wrist Slap and will share it with you now. Judge George G. Lomeli.

Happily for readers/voters, eventually editors decided to make a full report and later edited the story to include this information. After we did. Better late than never.

But frankly, reporting as shoddy as this is the reason for this blog.