Why you should read my blog

I took two photographs of Ricardo Colon as he was getting arrested tonight. He asked who that “geek” and *expletive deleted* taking pictures was.

If only he had known.

Last night, about two hours after the Country Farms at 56 Aiken Avenue in Lowell was robbed at gunpoint, I identified Mr. Colon, who is 24, as a suspect police said was arrestable for armed robbery while masked.

Here’s a link to the entry if you don’t recall.

If Colon read the good ole blog, perhaps he would have known multiple detectives, armed with an arrest warrant, would be showing up at his home this evening. I guess he’s not a fan.

I even checked with a detective last night before publishing Colon’s name as a suspect, just to make sure police didn’t think that would prompt him to flee or go into hiding.

That detective said he didn’t think publishing the name would be a problem.

Colon will be arraigned on Tuesday.

To be fair, Colon disputed his guilt while being taken into custody, and told detectives to check surveillance video from the store. Detectives identified Colon as a suspect after checking those videos Sunday night, according to police radio broadcasts.

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17 responses to “Why you should read my blog

  1. Yeah Rob I think you can be confident in the notion that this jabone doesn’t read your blog or the newspaper…I am fairly certain that Dick and Jane would present a challenge to him…moron LOL

  2. And you are not a geek…anyone who is brave enough and dedicated enough to run all over this city reporting crime news and fires and the like is not a geek I enjoy the blog and your stories and the Sun in general…like to see that this city isn’t totally going to hell in a sinking boat

    • I have to dispute this. I’m actually a huge geek! I even wear thick-framed glasses with tape on them and keep a pen in my front shirt pocket most nights.

      I am prepared to plead to guilty.

      • I love your blog …lets me know when I should be on the lookout and locking my doors 🙂

  3. Why is it ok for your opinionated tweets to consume the front page of your news website? Nothing wrong with your reporting, its your job, its what you like to do, freedom of speech is non negotiable as you should know, therefore why are half the tweets on the front page opinions, and even a few articles. At what point will you, as a serious journalist inform facts without adding your two cents into it. Are we allowed to make up our own minds or do you have to add everything that comes into your head as a solid thought that should be seen by the masses. Keep doing what you do, we just dont care about what you think, only what the facts are. I respect the fact you stated his side, but if you only look at the front page of the Sun website you would think differently of this man, wether he is wrong or not!

    • I add commentary to the blog, but I’m always very careful to avoid providing opinions on guilt. I’m not privy to all of the evidence, and neither are readers. I’d encourage everyone to let the courts decide.

      I don’t think my commentary contains opinions, though. I comment and report on Colon’s comments as he was arrested. He made his comments about me in a public place, which makes them part of the public record, and I didn’t even report until now that the comment I didn’t repeat was a slur against homosexuals.
      If Colon didn’t want his comments reported, he shouldn’t have made them.

      As for the bit about whether him reading my blog may have helped. His listed address is the address at which he was arrested, and he was there more than 22 hours after I reported in public that he was being sought by police for an armed robbery. I speculate about whether he may have fled or attempted to hide if he read the blog, but I don’t provide any opinions.

      I’m not sure I understand how that speculation or those comments contain an opinion on Colon’s guilt.

      The blogs at The Sun contain material that is not as straight-laced as material in the print edition or the news sections of the website. That’s how blogs work. If you want news that’s free from this type of color and commentary, I recommend just reading the “Local News,” “Breaking News” and “Headline Stories” sections of the website, which appear prominently at the top of the website, not at the bottom, right corner, where the widget containing our Twitter feed is.

      The print edition comes out in the morning and the straight news stories on the website are updated in the morning as well. Breaking news is updated all day.

      I agree with you about opinions in journalism, though, and if you find an opinion in anything I’ve ever written in the printed edition of the newspaper or for the website, outside of the blog, please let me know.

      The blog isn’t meant to be the same product as straight news stories, though. If it was, I wouldn’t have a blog in addition to my responsibilities for the rest of the paper.

    • For instance, below is what I wrote about this same incident and arrest for the print edition and for lowellsun.com.

      “LOWELL — A 24-year-old Lowell man was arrested last night on a warrant charging him with armed robbery while masked in connection with a Sunday night heist at an Aiken Avenue convenience store.
      Police were called to Country Farms, 56 Aiken Ave., at 9:23 p.m., and learned a Hispanic male with a yellow bandana over his face displayed a black handgun and robbed the store.
      By later Sunday night, police were already searching for Ricardo Colon, 24, of Lowell, according to police radio broadcasts.
      Colon was arrested last night at 686 Bridge St. He will be arraigned today in Lowell District Court.”

    • Ummm correct me if you think I am wrong sir, but I believe the difference between a blog and an actual newspaper article is that the article is indeed completely fact based, whereas a blog is more a forum and since most boots are based on public opinion or people tend to voice opinions or comment on the topic if the posting…how is he wrong? I have been reading his stories for years and they have always been based on facts he receives from being an investigative reporter, which is indeed his job…he inquires, receives facts from his inquiries and reports them…in the blog he is giving the blunter side of things, what he sees when he runs all over Lowell to get pictures and report it as it happens…I guess what I ask trying to convey to you is this…a lot of people.enjoy the blog and the tweets…you should read some of the stuff from the reporters on TV…your long winded diatribe David smacks of nonsense but of course it is your GASP! opinion…oh wait a second…voicing your opinion on a blog post? Isn’t that what you just chastised Rob for? Oops…looks like to me…you’re outta gas bud…

      • I don’t mind being chastised, though. It’s important to keep my opinions and commentary out of straight news when I write it, and comments like his remind me to make sure I never let the stuff in the blog bleed into other content.

        It also reminds me to be careful of the line between blogs and straight news. The line between commentary and straight news is, in my opinion, far too blurred on television these days. That’s a pet peeve of mine.

        I’m happy to explain to someone that I’m actually trying to add a little commentary and color to the blog, even though I agree those two things have no place in a regular news story.

        Plus, I also agree that me ever giving an opinion on guilt or innocence would be out of line, even in a blog post. I hope I have never done that.

  4. My main problem is your tweets (personal/blog) end up on the front page of the Lowell Sun website. If they are in fact opinion, or part of this blog, which if I understand right you work for and the blog is part of the Lowell sun, then I expect a little more. Crime fighters like meshell will defend you to the death but I also do as well. I dont think your opinions shouldnt be publicized, just not on the front page. http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_20502961/supreme-court-rules-homeowners-against-government?IADID=Search-www.lowellsun.com-www.lowellsun.com is this written by a reporter? was this written solely on fact? “It is nice to know the Supreme Court is supportive of this right, and allowed the couple to finally have a trial on the merits. Something tells me, however, that the federal government will drop its compliance order. It is, after all, an election year.” Not sure but that is opinion. Also, the fact that this guy said something in the heat of a serious arrest to a reporter has no connection to the case. Am I wrong? Or does that just prove to you his character and needs to be reported. Most people are smart and stay silent, but in the neighborhood you were in, with the type of crime, would you assume that him keeping his mouth shut has been something he has learned? Instead we see this article you wrote, which is good, and above it, comments that have no regard to anything in the matter besides he just didnt like you personally and said something in the moment. I think the blog and your reporting should remain but Lowell Sun should put more emphasis and control over what information is seen on their factual news website. He said it so I guess you can report it. The other night one of your reporters tweeted, “Dude on #mbta just said he considers Canada the 51st state #fail” and that stayed on the main page, as the main tweet for over 12 hours. I do not understand that. There are so many other things going on in this city and we have a reporter at midnight tweeting about a dude on the bus and calling him a fail. A reporter calling another person a name on the front page of your website. (although it was a dumb comment). Will we start reporting all comments made by anyone that you consider possible news or possible connection to a news story such as him calling you which I can only assume was a faggot, which I wont censor and you should not either as we both believe in one thing, free speech. I will not call it the “f” word because than that only puts the word in your head from my thoughts, which is the same as saying it.

    • The link you quoted appears to be a letter to the editor, not anything written by The Sun staff. The main page at http://www.lowellsun.com contains the widget with tweets, material published in the op ed section of the paper, and blogs other than mine that are purely opinion. (Phelps’ Reflections).

      The point of the blog is to add color to arrests, so yes, if someone calls me names, I report it, or if a guy last week arrested for a motor vehicle break calls three cops fat pigs repeatedly and suggests he’s sleeping with the officers’ wives, I report that too.

      If we’re not going to report on someone calling a police officer a pig, then we should also stop reporting on defendants in court who say they’re remorseful. The way defendants and police alike conduct themselves in public is all fair game for reporting.

      Are tweets from reporters occasionally light-hearted and stupid? Absolutely. That’s the nature of Twitter, and I see light-hearted tweets from almost all reporters I know with accounts, from New York Times reporters on down. Reporters have personalities. They make comments, and we’re increasingly being encouraged to show that via websites like Twitter and Facebook.

      I do agree we should take more precautions to make it clear what is opinion, what is journalism, and what is informal. But then again I also believe that newspapers should never write editorials.

  5. Robert I honestly dont want you to take this as disrespect, only a mutual conversation where we can both understand each other better, and that is my honest feeling.

    • David…pay attention: the tweets don’t wind up on tue front page of the wrbsite because Rob puts them there…the little widget (application) that holds them is there…if you want to gripe.about that, take it to the editor or the web master for the website…straight news=in the paper: commentary opinions or additional stuff he can’t print in the paper because people like you would be all over him for it: in the blog…I love the blog…its like having smoking gun’s worlds dumbest criminals streaming live…and on Thursdays when Rob is off I watch world’s dumbest on tv…LOL

  6. I believe the whole reason those Tweets are on the website is the exact reason that you keep posting, David … to spark conversation and to enlighten people, to get people sharing information they may not have otherwise. Sometimes a trite comment opens the door to a whole new discussion. The profession of journalism is an entirely new beast that is evolving as generations are evolving. Gone are the days of lengthy stories and bulky papers. Welcome to the world of story outlines, briefs and micro blogging. People want news quick, and it’s the job of journalists to report the facts, but also to engage the communities for which they write. Looks like Rob and other reporters from The Sun are doing that exceptionally well.

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