Friday, February 15, 2013

Anthony Ronzio Statement Analysis

UPDATE:  BDN has withdrawn request for names and addresses of licensed gun permit holders.
The following is analysis of the written statement of Anthony Ronzio of the Bangor Daily News.  
His published statement is presented first, and then it is shown again, with emphasis added and statement analysis in bold type.  
The Bangor Daily News has sought to obtain the names and addresses of everyone in the State of Maine who holds a concealed weapons permit.  
This angered the public, causing Mr. Ronzio to publish this response. 
Is it personally from him?
Is it from the Bangor Daily News. 
Question:  Does the explanation clear up the matter for readers?

I.  Statement

On Wednesday, the Bangor Daily News requested data from Maine police agencies regarding concealed weapons permits in Maine. I’d like to explain our thinking, and clarify our intent.
The BDN requested the records of concealed weapons permits as part of long-term reporting projects on domestic violence, sexual assault and drug abuse.
It always had been the BDN’s intent to request this information to support our reporting projects. However, the introduction of legislation to remove these permits from public records accelerated our timeline in doing so.
The BDN has never had any intention to release identifying information about permit holders, and said so in our request. We recognize how sensitive this information is, and made sure police agencies knew of this intent.
We believe the wholesale publication of permit holder information, as was done recently by a newspaper in New York, is irresponsible.
We intend to use this information about permits, along with other information sets we are gathering, to analyze possible correlations relevant to our reporting projects.
I regret the confusion our request has caused. We had hoped that by stating our intent right in our letters, we could have assuaged any concerns it could have caused.
Again, no identifying information about permit holders will be published, and no stories specifically about permit holders are planned.
Sincerely,
Anthony Ronzio
Director of News and New Media
Bangor Daily News

II.  Statement With Emphasis and Analysis

On Wednesday, the Bangor Daily News requested data from Maine police agencies regarding concealed weapons permits in Maine. I’d like to explain our thinking, and clarify our intent.
Where a statement begins often indicates its purpose.  Here, it was the "Bangor Daily News" that requested the names of everyone in Maine who has a concealed weapons permit. 
Next, note the entrance of the pronoun, "I" in the statement.  This should be considered an important point, as it is not the "Bangor Daily News" speaking, but the subject, himself. 
Note the pronoun, "I" being singular, changes to plural as the subject wants to explain "our" thinking and clarifying "our" intent. 
Note the order:
1.  "Thinking"
2.  "Intent" 
The "thinking" of the Bangor Daily News needs "explanation" while the "intent" of the Bangor Daily News needs "clarification."  With this order, we should look for the Bangor Daily News' "thinking" to take precedence over their "intentions", alert for both words to be used. 
The BDN requested the records of concealed weapons permits as part of long-term reporting projects on domestic violence, sexual assault and drug abuse.
Note that "long term reporting projects" is plural.  Note what these projects are on:
1.  Domestic Violence
2.  Sexual Assault
3.  Drug Abuse 
These are "long term" projects and involve these three topics.  
It always had been the BDN’s intent to request this information to support our reporting projects. 
Note that "had" is past tense. 
Note that the word "intent" is used here.
Note that the intention to request this information was to "support" their reporting projects.  Note "our" is used, as it speaks to "BDN", plural.  
However, the introduction of legislation to remove these permits from public records accelerated our timeline in doing so.
The BDN has never had any intention to release identifying information about permit holders, and said so in our request. We recognize how sensitive this information is, and made sure police agencies knew of this intent.
Please note that the word "never", by itself, is not reliable  Had he said, "The BND did not have intention" it would have been stronger. 
Note that "intention" is related to thinking.  Thinking and planning changes.  Intentions change. 
Note the change of language, from "records" (above) to "identifying information":  leaving the reader to ask why there is a change of language. 
Above, they sought "records" but here it is "identifying information."  The specific request was for "identifying information"; that is, the names and addresses of those who have concealed weapon permits.  Their intention was to "support" their reporting projects: to link the names and addresses ("identifying information") with 
a.  Domestic Violence
b.  Sexual Assault
c.  Drug Abuse 
We believe the wholesale publication of permit holder information, as was done recently by a newspaper in New York, is irresponsible.
Note that "I" would like to explain, yet here, we have the pronoun, "we" when it comes to belief. 
Note it is "irresponsible" but not "unethical", or other words similar.  Statement Analysis listens to what someone says, and what someone does not say. 
 The New York paper first requested the information, and then published it.  When they saw the angry response by the public, the New York paper hired armed guards to protect its workers. 
We intend to use this information about permits, along with other information sets we are gathering, to analyze possible correlations relevant to our reporting projects.
Note "intention" is made clear:  "correlations."
This would mean that when a public news report is made about Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and/or Drug Abuse, the "identifying information" (name and address) would then be matched in the above categories.  
I regret the confusion our request has caused.
Note the return to the pronoun, "I" connected to "regret"
 We had hoped that by stating our intent right in our letters, we could have assuaged any concerns it could have caused.
Note the change back to "we" when it comes to "hope" and "intent" making the pronoun "I" strong, and the pronoun, "we" weak. 
Again, no identifying information about permit holders will be published, and no stories specifically about permit holders are planned.
Note that although no "identifying information" about permit holders will be published, it is only that no stories specifically about them are "planned."
"Plans" like "intentions" change.  If a "story" that has "specific" information about a person with a concealed weapons permit" is published, will "identifying information" about the holder be released?  Could the Bangor Daily News do a story, related to "domestic violence, sexual assault" and/or "drug abuse" concerning a permit holder be published while not revealing the name of the individual involved?
Does it now seem reasonable that the Bangor Daily News would request identifying information only to not use it?

For the reader:  Do you feel that the subject has revealed his, or their "thinking" and his, or their, "intention."?
This is why we follow the pronouns and look for consistency.  
Sincerely,
Anthony Ronzio
Director of News and New Media
Bangor Daily News
The first sentence gave us the purpose for writing. 
Has Mr. Ronzio fulfilled the purpose, giving readers "understanding" and "clarity"?

3 comments:

john said...

We Intend/ WE Plan..

Politicians two favorite sentences..

Lis said...

I agree, John, he speaks like a true double-tongued politician. The intent is obvious. It is getting to be like the McCarthy era, it's okay to harrass legal gun owners.

While he is personally willing to take responsibility for explaining, he wants to share the blame for the thinking and the intent.

Does he really expect the drug dealers and rapists to be on this list of legal permit owners? Not very likely.

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