News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 19, 2014

Readers’ Forum: March 20, 2014

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Crime coverage was disrespectful

I am writing to express my disappointment in the recent coverage of a young man whose life was taken much too soon.

It infuriates me that although he was a victim of a senseless violent crime, our local news media (particularly WTWO) found it necessary to air irrelevant information concerning his past history on their broadcast. Not only was it irrelevant to the story, it was a cruel reminder to family and friends of the struggles he endured while living.

I honestly don’t understand why they chose to cover the story in that way. As you can imagine, this was a very difficult time for his family and friends. During the time they were dealing with having to make arrangements for his funeral, they not only had to deal with phone calls from the media but also the news media coming to their house and place of employment.

The media let “getting the scoop” take precedence over allowing a family to cope with the not just death but murder of their son. This to me is unbelievably callous behavior on their part. It seems to me that their coverage and approach to this story is comparable to that of a tabloid, not a respectable media outlet. It’s not just the duty of a responsible journalist to write a story; it is their duty to do so ethically and to avoid sensationalism.

I certainly hope that in the future the local media will show more compassion and respect to families from our community who are grieving the loss of a love one taken away from them.

— Jean McCleary

Terre Haute