Piece Comment

Review of Blue: A Mother's Grief

Too often the murders of kids in urban neighborhoods aren't seen as news at all, so I appreciate the impulse behind this piece. Baltimore had 278 homicides in 2004, the year "Blue" died. I've long wondered how things might change if newspapers and stations like WYPR did prominent reports on each murder victim. The piece has some pretty good tape with the grieving mother and a neighborhood activist.

On the other hand...the producer describes himself as being relatively new to radio, and it shows--in the cliches ("...every mother's worst nightmare....), the wooden delivery, and the compulsion to open with sound in the first scene even though the fish tank is irrelevant and barely makes any sound at all. In short, the piece sounds just like stuff I did as a young reporter! If only we'd had PRX back then. If I'd had the guts to post my work and get it critiqued, I might have stopped doing such stuff sooner. Keep at it, Justin.