Be aware of families when reporting crimes

Published 12:42 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

Explosive news increases your sales.

Yet of utmost concern to you and your staff when reporting fatalities should be respecting a decedent’s family and loved ones who are experiencing an emotional, painful and traumatic event.

I feel that a grieving family should not be subjected to reading or hearing others’ detailed or gruesome comments concerning their loved ones’ death as they are so vividly reported in your newspaper. Graphic pictures and or statements describing the accident or crime scene either voiced or quoted from our public servants should be omitted, as this specific information should be reserved for the courtroom, and in this instance lacks sensitivity.

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The final statement of the mission for your newspaper states that you and your employees strive to “above all, to treat our readers, advertisers, and employees as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

Would you or any of your reporters care to read an article concerning your loved one written exactly as the headline story published Sunday, Sept. 30, written by Katie Stallcup?

Perhaps many of your readers will acknowledge that your reporters are displaying a genuine empathy for others; especially the dead, their families and ones when reports concerning the tragic circumstances surrounding these incidents become more professional and less descriptive.

Carolyn R. Smith

Natchez resident