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Journalists Need to Investigate Entire Story

July 26, 2002

The issue regarding the media taking partial responsibility for the current furor [over the videotape of the alleged beating of a teen by Inglewood police] (Al Martinez column, "Don't Like Bad News? Blame the Messenger," July 18) is entirely justified because, in most cases, supposed journalists are the ones fanning the flames.

Does the media have the right to do that? Sure--if it has the entire story. But in this case, it (the media) and we (the public) do not have all the details--especially the part of the story that comes before the tape began rolling.

Mitchell Crooks would never be confused with being a journalist either, so taking the tape to "authorities" (read: the media) maybe seemed like the best avenue for him (read: get back at the cops). But the media (journalists, real journalists!) had the responsibility to investigate the entire story before splashing the videotape on the air as if it were just another segment of a reality show.

Mr. Martinez, you and your cause would be better served if you and your ilk rose above primitive knee-jerk emotional ranting and put more effort into finding out what actually happened.

BRIAN DZYAK

Encino

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