Accuracy, brevity and clarity are three concepts which we usually see in different fields. Some of which these three concept can be found being heavily used is in a very serious discipline like journalism. These three can also be greatly applied in theses and research papers when it comes to writing for the academe. The same is true when it comes to service-oriented activities like police reporting. Why are these three values important in police reporting? Here are a number of reasons why. First, let us define the term accuracy. Accuracy is referred to as the practice of being precise and exact.
This is where a fact is known as certain and true. This is where something is considered valid. Why is accuracy important in police reports? Accuracy is the element which any police report can never live without. The areas to which a reporter should be accurate in are details like check in time, place, name and dates among many others. Being accurate in a report is paying attention to details. If a police report is accurate, the interviewee or the person reporting is given his or her deserved respect. Accuracy in very important in police reports because it means telling the real story behind a story.
If a detail is wrong, it follows that the report as a whole is wrong, too. If the report is inaccurate, inefficiency comes next. Judgments become incorrect and unreliable. Another important characteristic of a police report is brevity. When we say brevity, it simple means short. A short report is not always a good report, though. A short report may sometimes mean an empty report (Reagan, 2000). That said, when a police report is brief, it means that it is concise. It contains only the important details which the involved parties need to know. There is no beating around the bush.
If a police report is brief or concise, it means that it is easy to understand. A long police report is not helpful at all. Since police men and every person involved are very busy people, the last thing they need is a long report to read. They do not have all day to consider all reports. If all police reports are brief, then equal consideration vis-a-vis time is given to every story (Rosen, 2003). Another important element of a good police report is clarity. Clarity, in this case, means a very understandable and readable material. It simply means that a police report should be clear.
While this can be self-explanatory, clarity in police report is very significant because other elements like accuracy and brevity lose sense when clarity does not exist. What use does accuracy have is all accurate details are not understandable after all? What sense does a brief police report make if it is empty and not reader-friendly? Since police officers, readers and all the other people involved need time to consider every story, the time reporters should give them should be something they can use in understanding the report easily (Naughton, 2000).
A police report should be the kind of report that caters to every average reasonable reader. If only one or two people can understand a police report, then one or two people can only consider the article a police report material. In short, if a police report is not clear, it does not make sense. Now, all these go to show how equally important accuracy, brevity and clarity are important to each other. One couldn’t work without the other. These three values or characteristics must work hand in hand to make a police report effective. The question, then, is why a police report needs to be effective.
The reason why a police report is considered as one is because it involves public concern. Therefore, it needs to be effective. It needs to be efficient. Police reporting is one of the many ways to which a person can serve the nation. If a detail is incorrect, the reporter is giving the public wrong information, therefore misleading the whole nation. If the report is too long to read, no one would even consider reading it. If people wanted to read a novel, they would. However, in some cases, what they need is a police report. Lastly, if a police report is not clear, the service to the nation becomes blurred all at once.
Naughton, J. (February 1, 2000). No Newsroom is an Island. Pointer Organization. Retrieved February 22, 2008 from http://www. poynter. org/dg. lts/id. 5492/content. content_view. htm. Reagan, B. (January 2000). Details, Details. American Journalism Review. Retrieved February 22, 2008 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb3138/is_200001/ai_n7808220 Rosen, J. (October 2003). Brevity Pays. American Journalism Review. Retrieved February 22, 2008 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb3138/is_200310/ai_n7806500