Thursday, December 30, 2010


YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING: The departure of local newspaper “reporter” Paul Curtis- apparently for plagiarism- is a two-edged sword. While Curtis manipulated his reports to protect friends and go after enemies- and do so in the laziest manner possible- now we’re stuck with the oft unintelligible Leo Azambuja on the cops and courts beat.

Today’s attempt to clarify the facts surrounding the recent alleged murder of Aureo Arick Moore did anything but, demonstrating that our student Leo is ready for lesson two in his on the job j-school.

After you’ve learned the 5 W’s and determining and writing a “lead”- or lede as it’s spelled on the inside- you need to be able to, as editors across the world ask their reporters to do, “tell me a story.”

But instead, today’s hodge-podge of fact and fiction was more like a spaghetti cooking contest with a pasta-splattered wall attesting to the “toss it all and see what sticks” methodology of journalism Azambuja prefers.

One thing that beginners fail to recognize is that sometimes, when your hunch turns out to lead nowhere you don’t need to tell the story of how hard you tried to track down the immaterial facts.

Seems that, according to the article,

On Dec. 19, Carrie Ann Robson, 39, of Kilauea, was arrested and charged at 11:30 p.m. with second-degree attempted murder. Her bail was set at $100,000.

But when Azambuja finally clarified with Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri Carvalho that the case had nothing to do with the Moore murder, rather than moving on he insisted on including a lengthy explanation of how much work he did to find out that it was irrelevant to the story.

He also seemed compelled to lay out his confusion over the dribs and drabs of information released by the county. But rather than clarify it all in a narrative it’s simply laid out in a chronology with little or no explanation of the relevancy.

But the inability to tell a story- combined with the inability to “find the lede”- make for an exercise in incomprehensibility.

Toward the end of the article he tries to delve into the relationship between the alleged October robbery of Moore where a shot or shots were allegedly fired and the upcoming trial of Kyle Akau, 24, of Anahola who is accused of firing the shot(s) and robbing Moore of cash and drugs.

Way down at the bottom- 2184 words into the 2660 word piece- we finally get some information on why alleged killer Vicente "Vinnie" Hilario might have murdered Moore.

After discussing the various charges and reports on the Safeway robbery of Moore we read:

The coconut wireless over the latest murder case on Kaua`i has inundated blogs and Internet discussion forums with many rumors.

Some have claimed Moore was set up by an unidentified woman. Others allege he was murdered because he was dating Hilario’s mother. There were drug connections spread all over the Internet. Moore was also said to have been killed for being a witness in a court case.

While most of these are purely rumors, the prosecution was able to add the more serious first-degree murder charge because the crime involved the killing of an officer or a witness related to a crime.

Iseri-Carvalho said the prosecution added the first-degree murder because Moore was a witness to a court case pending against Hilario.

Huh? What “court case pending against Hilario”? Charges were in fact dropped against Hilario after he was arrested with Akau in the Safeway robbery of Moore.

As we speculated the day Hilario’s name was released it appeared Hilario might have killed Moore because he was a witness in Akau’s trial which had been scheduled for Dec 27 at the time of the murder.

Our conjecture was based on past newspaper reports that said that Hilario was one of the two who were released after being arrested in connection with the robbery.

But while for some reason Azambuja was reluctant to report that two plus two equals four- instead telling us that it equaled a number somewhere between three and five- the Honolulu Start Advertiser didn’t mince any words.

In a “corrections” in today’s edition they write:

Prosecutors charged Vicente "Vinnie" Hilario with first-degree murder involving the shooting death of Aureo Arick Moore. Prosecutors allege the fatal shooting was related to Moore's status as a witness against Hilario and another man involving a robbery case. Prosecutors had amended their complaint to add the first-degree murder charge. A B2 story that ran on Friday reported Hilario was charged with second-degree murder.

That is the story today- not the thousands of words about what KPD, the prosecutor and the public information officer put Azambuja through in trying to track down the facts.

Not only was the lede buried toward the end of the article it wasn’t even written in a plain straightforward manner but rather, like we’re playing a game of 20 Questions where we’ve used up 19 and have to guess what the news is with our 20th.


LaynaLovesEric said...

I was shocked by the comments on line that said something like "good job". I would have received a deserving "F" from any of my journalism professors for such a lack luster, pointless, story that lacked any angle, focus or traceable thought process. With over a dozen one line "paragraphs" one wonders why the paragraph was needed.

Unknown said...

Andy, you're so pathetic.
There are six Ws in journalism, not five.
And you spell out numbers below 10. Let me teach you a few things:
First, you wouldn't write "5 Ws," but "five Ws."
Second, the six (not five) Ws are: What, when, where, who, why and how.
It's so funny that you pick on Leo Azambuja and Paul Curtis, but more than half the stuff you write is based on rumors, plus is littered with grammar and factual mistakes.
Pathetic, like I said...

sirmoreplease said...

Andy, Thank you for giving island citizens an alternative source of information.

Looking forward to what PNN will bring us in 2011!