This CBS 42 article was written by Kaitlin McCulley in Birmingham, AL, and published on February 25, 2014. A mind-altering herb is being sold at Birmingham gas stations, and the investigative team took a closer look into the situation. I found the storytelling structure to have most of the important information at the beginning. I felt as though I would not be missing much if I skipped reading the final three or four sentences. Unlike the other special reports I’ve written about, this one was not structured by interviews.
I could not exactly tell how many sources were used, because none were cited that I knew of. The Kratom products that were tested, the FDA that was talked about, the Jefferson County Narcotics Unit, O.P.M., and the U.S. Drug Enforcement agency could be possible sources.
The only interviewer listed in this article was Jacky Gann. While his words are valued, I think the author could have included a couple more quotes from another important person (or two). I believe that she tried to interview some Kratom supporters in the Birmingham area, however, no one agreed to an on-camera interview. This (short) interview definitely added to the story. I think she needed more quotes like this to make it worth reading.
I mainly found this writing to be unclear because I did not find this topic as interesting as a crime investigation. For example, I have never heard the words paynantheine or speciogynine before. I have no idea what an alkaloid is. This part of the article made me slightly uninterested, but I realize the author had to include those words to add necessary detail to the story.
To me, the story seemed to be favoring the side of danger, rather than helpfulness. The author focused more on the dangers of the herb, instead of its benefits. I partially understand why this was the case. The man who is in charge of the drug recovery program in Bessemer said that Kratom “can destroy your life”. So it would make sense for the authors’ reasons to mention it being more dangerous. “The McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University ran a targeted analysis of the two Kratom samples our CBS 42 team found.” This sentence shows me that McCulley’s conclusions were supported by facts. She didn’t make anything up. It just wasn’t the clearest article to read, in my opinion. Again, the important info in the story is towards the beginning, not the end.