We want to be first, but only if it’s right

Published 11:41am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Many feel a sense of pride and happiness when they see their names or photos within the pages of the local newspaper.
Whether it is through an honor roll listing, garden club meeting, or finding the prize egg at the church Easter egg hunt. However, that isn’t always the case. I’m sure you have read the story in today’s paper regarding a local drug bust.
As I look along the names of those arrested, my mind drifts to the families of those arrested. I can’t help but wonder about the thoughts of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and children affected by the actions of these individuals. I wonder how it makes them feel to see their loved ones mentioned in a newspaper article of this nature.
I have an idea, but since I haven’t experienced it, I really can’t say that I know. My idea contains thoughts of embarrassment, disappointment, perhaps even guilt and sadness.
We have an obligation to report the news. We have a duty to report what happens in our communities, whether the news is good or bad, so readers are informed of what’s happening beyond their doorsteps. Everyone has the right to know if a drug bust went down in their neighborhood or sometimes, something even worse.
Our staff works really hard to ensure that they are delivering factual information in a timely manner. Everyone in the world of news wants to be first to deliver the latest breaking story.
We want to be first but we really want to be factual. While it would be nice to live in a world where all the news is good, happy and fun, that isn’t always the case.
I hope you appreciate the work that goes into delivering news that’s both positive and negative. We want to keep you informed about what’s going on it your community and we want to do that while maintaining honesty, dignity, integrity and respect for those involved as well as our readers.

Shannon Elliott is general manager of the Elmore County newspaper of Tallapoosa Publishers. Email her at shannon.elliott @thewetumpkaherald.com

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