Consider your thoughts about the speaker depending on the quotation verb chosen by the journalist:
1. "Yes, I went to that seedy neighborhood," he said.
2. he acknowledged
3. he admitted
4. he conceded
5. he confessed
1. "I didn't go to that neighborhood to buy drugs. I was searching for my son," he explained.
2. he said
3. he claimed
4. he alleged
5. he maintained
Watch for slant-free verbs, such as said and replied. Be cautious when you encounter others.