With a summit on justice issues just passed, it’s a good time to ask if the local newspaper can be a part of the discussion, or is part of the problem.
Take, for instance, last Tuesday’s front page (November 9, 2010). Four teens were arrested in Georgia for a murder at a party that got out of hand. The story was sensationalism. That’s not a dig. During my tenure as a newspaper editor many, many years ago, a story being sensational was enough reason to run it. One editor I worked with called them “Hey, Mabel” stories. Others referred to them as back-fence stories. You run them because people are talking or because you want them to.
What’s less understandable is the information the newspaper chose to run about those arrested. Their names, ages, and addresses did not appear in the story. The only identifying information was their surnames, run underneath photos cropped so tightly they purveyed only one fact about the suspects: They were black. Continue reading “Fair Questions for the DNR” »
This post was submitted by JGFitzgerald.