Attack of the narrative story telling

Sometimes, as a writer, you feel a narrative must be constructed to tell your story. When you need to build a narrative, you need to describe the scene. When you need to describe the scene, you need to grab some snippets of detail that you hope will paint a picture. Only, sometimes you don't actually need to build a narrative to tell your story, and when that's the case, all the detail you include in order build it comes off terribly unnecessary. I've been guilty of this; I once struggled mightily to describe the board room in which an oil and gas auction was occurring. Why did I think the reader gave a wit? I don't think the reader crossed my mind; I just wanted words and reached for them there. I bring it up on account of what seems like a growing use of scene setting in journalism that's often of questionable utility. A paper I won't name recently interviewed the same person for two different stories, for the same edition. In both stories, the reporters made sure to mention which coffee shop this source met them in. It was good advertising for the coffee shops, and showed that this person was willing to get coffee and various places around town to talk to reporters, but did little else to help the reader understand the issues at hand. Then today, in the Ranger out of Tacoma, a court reporter turned the story of a man getting sentenced for threatening another man into a sweeping epic, describing everything about the court room. Only there wasn't much to say about the court room. It was "nondescript," "with only a clock on the wall behind the judge." It was painted a "light yellow." I'll submit that people reading the story don't care about the color of the courtroom. They want to know what happened, and why. Again, I'm just as guilty of this sin as the next guy with a notepad. But it seems to be a growing menace, with red eyes, teeth that look like shards of glass, and a snarl the sound of................