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The Globe's B1 breakdown

It took a while, but I think I've wrapped my mind around the extreme weirdness of Page B1 of today's Globe. Take a look if you haven't already:



Here's what's wrong with this picture:

1. The banner headline and page set-up suggests we're going to get two stories about violence in Boston. Instead, we get one story about a potentially fatal stabbing (on the right) and one human-interest story about Boston Police dispatcher Brenda Ortiz (pictured).

2. The Ortiz story includes details (offered on B1) that might be fine in another section, or somewhere else in City & Region, but feel wildly inappropriate here. To wit: "With her doe-eyes and smile, silk blouse, and fashionable jeans, Ortiz, 29, does not look like someone who routinely orders around dozens of the city's most hardened gang and drug investigators."  Contrast that to the color from the story on the right (also on B1): "Linehan was taken by amublance to Boston Medical Center, where he remained in intensive care yesterday with a punctured and collapsed lung and a broken rib...."

3. Not only did the Ortiz story run in a bad spot, but a far more appropriate story was buried inside the section, on B6. Headline: "'It was a very bad night in the city': Two men slain, nine handguns are recovered."

The lesson seems to be this: when it comes to crime, light features and hard news really, really to be packaged separately.

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