PUNTA GORDA--Hundreds of freshmen students sitting in the Center for Performing Arts &Education at Charlotte High School Wednesday fell silent as they listened to the painful words of a 19-year-old girl named Alicia, who at 13 became the first known victim of a child predator.The reporter is telling readers that before six years ago, or sometime in 2002, there were no known victims of child predators. Could this possibly be true?
Of course not. Any moderately experienced copy editor would have raised this obvious question with the reporter. It would take an alert, motivated copy editor about 30 seconds to "Google" an FBI site or two and locate something like this -- if only to narrow the topic to cyber-predators, which was the topic of Pamela Staik's feature story:
In May 1993, FBI agents identified two suspects who had sexually exploited numerous juveniles over a 25-year period ... [and the use of] computer telecommunications was rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent techniques by which some sex offenders recruited children [...].
Predators and victims didn't suddenly materialize in 2002.
To read more ...
The Sun Coast Media Group gives DeSoto e-edition subscribers an extra bonus -- a weekly peek at the Lake Placid Journal. It's a nice little tab, but sorely in need of copy editors. For example, today's front page story carried the headline over a story about South Florida Community College's Class of 2008: "SFCC Grads Honored Commencement Monday." No, the graduates did not honor the commencement. They may have honored their mothers and their fathers and their professors and deans, but chances are the grads were honored AT commencement.
Farther down in the story, the writer reports students waving diplomas, "happily signifying that they had earned the right to call themselves high school graduates."