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Letter: Choice of words in assault story questioned

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Jennifer Morlok


Received: Dec. 30

I am writing to express my disappointment in Sunday’s front page article, “Man jailed after attack with hammer.”

The article describes a physical assault by one member of our community against his neighbor. In the opening line of the report, (it was written) “It was hammer time, although it shouldn’t have been.”

(The) reference to a popular, silly song seems to me entirely misplaced and inappropriate to the serious nature of the information to follow. (That) word choice does much to set the emotional tone of an article. And while “it’s hammer time” might be a fun, attention-getting opening line for an article on a new construction project in town, it is entirely inappropriate in an article about a violent act.

Surely, (The Republic) did not intend to make light of the assault. I’m certain that (it) condemns the attack with the same vigor as the rest of the community.

However, I have to shake my head about the editorial process of a newspaper that not only leaves such missteps unchecked but runs them on the front page.

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