L.A. Times crime reporter Jill Leovy has an absolutely fascinating new blog called The Homicide Report. Leovy explains:
The list represents an effort to provide comprehensive coverage of all homicides that occur in Los Angeles County.
Overwhelmed by the sheer volume, the Los Angeles Times, like other major media organizations, covers only a fraction of the more than 1,000 murders in Los Angeles County each year. Many violent deaths become, in essence, private homicides — catastrophic on a small scale, invisible on a broader one.
Starting with this week’s homicide report, however, the Times will list all homicides reported to the Los Angeles County coroner, plus additional information gleaned from street and law enforcement sources. This week’s list is larger than usual because of a January crime wave, but otherwise fairly typical in terms of the ages and ethnicities of those killed and the manner of their deaths.
If Leovy keeps this up, the small-scale tragedies will truly be visible on a broader scale.
It’s a great idea. I often feel that parts of the city are a war zone, and that the murders that take place don’t get the coverage that they deserve from the local paper. The answer is always that there isn’t enough space — but with the Internet, there is always more space. Leovy is taking advantage of this important strength of the Internet, and I salute her for it.