Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No can do

An acquaintance e-mailed the other day. He'd had a run-in with the law and hoped I'd keep his name out of the paper. I responded the same way I've done for more than two decades to dozens of people: No.

Long-ago established Freeman policy describes for reporters and editors the threshold for police matters. If the crime is on our list (and part of the public record on the police blotter), it will be reported. No exceptions, not even for Freeman employees and family members.

In a time when readers distrust the media more than ever, can you imagine what it would do to a newspaper's credibility if coverage (of lack thereof) of arrests was determined by who you are or know, not what you were alleged to have done?
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