This paper will examine the differences between the presentation of information surrounding the Rodney King beating and subsequent investigation into the Los Angeles Police Department. The two articles examined for this paper were selected to support my theory on the relative ease which one is able to determine a scholarly article from one written in a general interest magazine. In 1991, Time Magazine presented an article reference this incident which was authored by Alex Prudhomme. Also in 1991 an independent commission was put together and published a well known and respected documented titled “Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department.” Although both are written and based on the facts surrounding the Rodney King beating and inner turmoil within the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, numerous differences are noted.
The differences begin at the front cover or title page of the informational sources up to the last word presented to the reader. From the outside scholarly articles are usually very simple and titled boldly yet simply on the front cover. Magazines on the other hand will flash popular or eye catching images on the front cover to promote the sale. The authors of the material will also differ wildly. A researcher or person intimately involved in the creation of the information being presented will author a scholarly article while the author of an article within a news magazine piece will merely piggy-back on the work or information presented. The authors of the news magazine may include opinions or feelings within their piece of work which you will not find in a scholarly article. Scientists and other authors of these scholarly pieces can not afford to include errors or facts which can not be validated within their papers. Each word, fact, and figure is subject to peer review and any intentional error or misinformation could invalidate the entire article. The news magazine articles can afford to be questioned ant at times the information presented is done so with the intention of sparking thought, debate, and emotional feelings within the community.
The Christopher Commission Report took great lengths in documenting the culture and underlying issues facing the Los Angeles Police Department which played a large role not only in the Rodney King incident but a larger level of corruption within the department as a whole. Each detail was backed with supporting evidence consisting of extensive interviews, police reports, and internal audit procedures. The police sub-culture was exposed to the reader allowing for a deep and vivid picture of the volatile personnel issues facing the department. Issues concerning training, promotions, transfers, discipline, complaints, and recruitment were researched and irregularities were brought to the attention of the department. Much of the information