RE: Deadly week in New­ton

The Covington News - - OPINION - The Cov­ing­ton News Cov­ing­ton

To the Ed­i­tor,

News by its def­i­ni­tion is what goes wrong, rarely what goes right. As a 40-year vet­eran of the broad­cast news busi­ness and jour­nal­ism academia, I should know.

Aside from ac­cu­racy, the big­gest job of a pur­veyor of news is the editorial judg­ment that de­cides space and place­ment, time and length of a news story. Sun­day’s front page of the Cov­ing­ton News causes me to ques­tion the editorial judg­ment that went into the com­po­si­tion of the page and the blar­ing head­line that greeted read­ers: “Deadly Week in New­ton.”

If a one-on-one shooting re­sults in one death, the tragic in­ci­dent di­rectly af­fects rel­a­tively few peo­ple in the big pic­ture: the fam­ily and friends of the vic­tim and the per­pe­tra­tor. On the other hand, were a school child to board a bus with a hid­den firearm and later dis­play it to friends, that specter raises a larger and more far-reach­ing fear fac­tor.

I ve­he­mently op­pose the im­po­si­tion of out­side in­flu­ences on a jour­nal­ist’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing. How­ever, I be­lieve a pa­per that is truly lo­cal in a small com­mu­nity – – needs to con­sider the rel­e­vance of its crime con­tent to its con­sumers. The three sto­ries placed on the front page be­long in the pa­per, but not on the front page with a ban­ner head­line scream­ing “fear.” VR Bob Fur­nad

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