Shooting turned into melodrama

september 30, 1981
vol 75 no 27


dave hogerty

Editor: We are totally appalled by the lack of tasteful journalism shown by your staff writer Dave Hogerty.

In his Sept. 30 article entitled “Convenience is in the eye of the beholder,” he displayed a writing angle commonly referred to as sensationalism. “Eifert lay back on the floor as the warm blood flowing from his chest formed a crimson pool around him …”

Hogerty turned an unfortunate incident into a melodramatic episode characterized by exaggerated description and morbid details.

Are your readers looking for a soap opera in print, or a factual documentation of events?

As journalists, we understand the need to create interesting stories, but must this be accomplished by creating bloody pictures to entice the morbid curiosities of your readers?

J. Singerman (2UF)
M. Parnes (3JM)
D. Altman (3JM)

Mellodrama is in the eye of the beholder

Editor: Dave Hogerty’s story on the shooting of Dan Eifert (“Convenience is in the eye of the beholder,”) Sept. 30 Alligator was exceptionally good. It did what background news stories are supposed to do: recount the who, what, when and why of the incident in an informative yet human fashion. I therefore disagree with the criticism lodged by Singerman, Paines and Altman. In their letter of Oct. 2 (“Shooting turned into melodrama”) The story was not “melodramatic.” On the contrary, it was real life and death. It put the reader right there in Eifert’s unfortunate shoes and described what it feels and looks like to be shot point-blank with a .38 pistol. If that was “soap opera” I have foolishly missed years of General Hospital. Unlike the soaps, this really happened. More importantly through the eyes and mind of Dan Eifert and the literary artistry of Hogerty, I felt as though I was there.

The description of the shooting, the progression of events, leading up to the completion of the telephone call, and the observations of Eifert regarding the possibility of death, were spellbinding, not “morbid.”

Unlike the previous letter writers, I am not a journalism major. However, it seems to me that in a piece which is not a news story of first impression, a little deviation from the bland facts is warranted. Once again, good job, Eifert, for surviving, and Hogerty for telling us about it.

Kevin Daly (6AC)

Convenience Is In The Eye of The Beholder (here)



A Florida Journalist, Photographer, and Art Director with an eclectic client list of individuals and organizations with musical, visual, educational, and editorial interests.

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