M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘Indiana

‘Alternative story telling’? No — just telling the story

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Sometimes reporting, editing and producing a breaking news story can be frustrating, because two new developments land on your doorstep before the last one has made it through the production process.

That’s what happened when a gunman entered a real estate office in Valparaiso, Ind., today and took about 10 hostages.  So in parallel with writing msnbc.com’s running main story, which you can read here, I also set up a Storify stream, immediately publishing news, images and local reaction as they came in. By the end of the day, it was a lively, largely unintermediated narrative of the entire drama as it unfolded:

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Written by Alex

May 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Reporting: Police on radio scanner apps: That’s not a 10-4

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Police Scanner by Juicy Development

Police Scanner is available for $2.99 in the iPhone App Store.

This report was cross-posted on msnbc.com’s Technolog blog. Read it in context here

Matthew A. Hale, 29, was arrested last week in Muncie, Ind., after he allegedly fled the scene of a failed stickup at a pharmacy.

Police accused Hale of being the getaway driver for an accomplice who was supposed to rob the pharmacy. But Hale drove off when things went sour, only to be stopped and arrested shortly thereafter, they said. Bail was set this week at $25,000 on felony charges of attempted armed robbery.

It’s all pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, except for one thing: How did Hale know the heist was falling apart inside the pharmacy as he sat outside in the car?

How did he know to take off?

Matthew Hale, it turned out, had a smartphone — specifically, a Droid from Verizon Wireless. And on that Droid he had an app that he used to monitor Muncie police radio traffic, Detective Jim Johnson said.

If you’re one of the millions of smartphone users who’ve downloaded scanner apps with names like iScanner, PoliceStream and 5-0 Radio Police Scanner, pay attention:

You might be breaking the law.

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Written by Alex

May 25, 2011 at 6:20 am