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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's in a name?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

With an abundance of "Letters to the Editor" to get on the page today, I'm going to keep "One Man's Perspective" in perspective.

First, I'm not going to tell you how to vote on the jail issue. I've made my position very clear to anyone who regularly reads this column or discussed it with me on the street. What I will say about the vote is this - get educated. You still have a couple of days before the vote. Don't go into the voting booth and cast an uninformed ballot, do your homework. And by homework, I don't mean ask Aunt Sally how she thinks you should vote. We have a detailed video interview with Sheriff Randy Krukow, getting the information on the jail in our "5 Questions With ..." segment. Take 15 minutes and watch it before you vote. Then at least you can cast an informed ballot.

Just one more thing before I call it a week.

I've had multiple people ask me personally, or comment to people I know, regarding the use of minors names in the paper, with particular interest to criminal behavior.

As managing editor here is my policy for the record.

If a minor is involved in a crime, and it's a felony - their name is going in. Felonies are pretty serious in nature.

If a minor is involved in misdemeanor crime, in most cases, their name will not go in the paper. That's in most cases, there are exceptions to every rule.

If the misdemeanor involves distribution of drugs and illegal substances to others, or the criminal behavior puts others in jeopardy, the name is going in.

From my viewpoint, if a persons behavior is a threat to anyone else around them, the public has a right to know.

A minor sitting in a park drinking a beer getting popped for minor in possession, is probably not a big public threat.

A minor sitting behind the wheel of a car, driving down Grand Avenue, after drinking beer in the park, becomes a threat to the public.

A minor gets caught with marijuana paraphernalia on his person is not necessarily a threat to your children. That same minor selling or providing marijuana to your and my children is now a threat to the public.

And if your an adult, don't bother calling. If you get busted, regardless of the charge, your going in. If you don't want to be in the paper, don't get busted - pretty simple.

That's how the decision is made. It has nothing to do with name recognition. It has nothing to do if your the athlete or the loner, the brain or the brawn. From this editor's standpoint, everyone is equal when it comes to criminal behavior.


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I BELIEVE THE 'REPORTER'S POLOCY IS LOGICAL AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, FAIR TO IT'S READER'S. WHERE I LIVE, MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR'S TEEN AGED SON COULD BE A SERIAL CHIILD MOLESTER AND I WOULDN'T FIND OUT THROUGH THE NEWSPAPER. ANY CRIME, EVEN HEINOUS CRIMES COMMITTED BY A MINOR WILL REMAIN

ANONYMOUS

-- Posted by MEMOBLACK on Sat, Apr 30, 2011, at 1:35 PM

I believe you can look up sex offenders on a state website.

As an aside, I find it interesting that people are appalled when they find criminals, especially sex offenders, living in their neighborhoods. People seem to be under the impression that until they knew about where they lived, criminals never lived near them. At least now they know.

I venture to guess that you can't walk around a block without passing a least one house where someone convicted of a crime lives. You just don't know it.

-- Posted by helped_myself on Sun, May 1, 2011, at 12:18 PM

Randy,

You may want to follow your own policy.

above you said "If the misdemeanor involves distribution of drugs and illegal substances to others, or the criminal behavior puts others in jeopardy, the name is going in. From my viewpoint, if a persons behavior is a threat to anyone else around them, the public has a right to know"

The article in question states "A sixteen-year-old, whose name was withheld, was charged with providing the medication and distributing it to others at the party"

From my viewpoint, the sixteen-year-old whose name was withheld, that was charged with providing the medication and distributing it to others, involved distribution of drugs and illegal substances to others as well as showed criminal behavior that DID put others in jeopardy and their behavior is and was a threat to anyone else around them, SO WHY DIDN'T THIS SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD'S NAME GET PUBLISHED?

You said, "It has nothing to do with name recognition. It has nothing to do if your the athlete or the loner, the brain or the brawn. From this editor's standpoint, everyone is equal when it comes to criminal behavior".

So please do explain your logic behind NOT printing this sixteen year old's name....

-- Posted by 2_Blue_Star_Mom on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 12:30 AM
Response by Paula Buenger:
The Spencer police department did not release the name for the initial story. The second story, with information we received from the sheriff's department, did include the name of the 16 year old. That story was included in the print edition of the Daily Reporter.

I kind of think the paper should spend more time following up on real news instead of reporting every "name" for misdemeanor or even minor felony drug charges, minors or not. I find it particularly offensive that, unlike real, major newspapers, not only are these minor "crimes" reported, but the judgment is always omitted, save for heinous crimes like murder or rape, which happens so infrequently it treats it as a month's worth of news; but, never do they report when someone is found not guilty of those alleged crimes. Nothing like tarnishing someone's reputation without chance of public redemption.

-- Posted by jlees on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 10:21 PM


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Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective