15 April 2014
This article was published on February 26 and update on April 7, 2014. Trent Butler, with CBS 42, reported in Birmingham, AL. In this story, I found more of the important information to be at the beginning rather than towards the end. I learned that seven people were arrested on prostitution charges, and that the “VIP Spa” sign meant more went on inside than just massages. I discovered the main idea of the story right there at the start of the video, and towards the top of the page where the writing is. I continued reading and watching the short clip, however, because I wanted to find out more background information. Several details occur later in the story, but again, I got the main points at the beginning. I didn’t come across any sources cited in the article.
Three people were interviewed in this story. First was Lt. Ron Sellers with the Birmingham Police Department. Next, a local resident (elderly man) provided a quote. His name was not given. The last person interviewed was one of the nation’s top experts on human trafficking, Sunny Slaughter. Slaughter said that the business needed to be shut down for good. The story concluded with Slaughter’s quote. I believe these interviews were effective to the story. It was necessary to interview a cop because of the illegal stuff going on in the VIP Spa. A policeman’s thoughts and viewpoints are a must have for a crime story such as this. I also think it’s necessary to gather as much info as possible from the residents in the area, and Trent Butler succeeded in this way. Then, adding a human trafficking expert’s quote was the icing on the cake. The story simple wouldn’t be of the same value without quotes. Interviews make the writer seem more credible and trustworthy.
I did not think that the writer leaned towards a particular side. No bias seemed present. For the most part, I thought the writing was clear and understandable. The article mentions a location, “Roebuck”, and I had no idea where that was. Other than that, I knew most (if not all) of the words in the story. Stories involving investigators and officers tend to fascinate me. The interviews in the story also make it far less boring. I like hearing what other people have to say right there at the scene of where it all happens.
The writer’s conclusions were supported by facts and interviews. For example, Trent Butler stated: “Lt. Sellers says their raids have led to the closing of the Bali Spa and the Super Sauna.” He paraphrased what Lt. Sellers said and gave credit to him. He seemed to only make statements that were backed up by someone important in the story. Another fact in the article was this: “This is the third time in the past year that a massage parlor has been busted for prostitution.”
I know that Trent Butler used facts like this to make his conclusions. He did not make it up. I definitely found this article to be interesting and intriguing as I learned new things about the so- called VIP Spa.