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From: Jerry Moore
Received: Oct. 21
I read Kim Houze’s Letter to the Editor regarding negativity in the newspaper with great interest, but as a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism, I must politely disagree with most of it.
In her letter, Ms. Houze questioned having Onions, divorces, bankruptcies, foreclosures and arrests appearing in the newspaper. I can agree with her criticism of Onions, but it is The Republic’s responsibility to publish the other items. After all, a newspaper is supposed to be as objective as possible and among its duties is keeping its readers informed about whom is getting divorces, going bankrupt, losing their homes and breaking the law.
I like discovering who is getting divorced so I don’t stick the proverbial foot in my mouth. In other words, I don’t want to see a casual friend and inquire about his or her spouse only to find out they filed for divorce a few weeks earlier. When that happens, it is uncomfortable for both of us.
As a local businessman, I want to know if a prospective or current customer has filed for bankruptcy. Why? Because that business or individual might owe my employer money or I might be in the process of doing business with that company or individual.
It always saddens me to read where a family is losing its home because many of us might be in the same situation if our home had been ravaged by the 2008 flood and we didn’t have flood insurance because we weren’t in or near a flood plain. We also are subject to overwhelming medical bills if a member of our immediate family develops serious cancer, for example, and eventually is rejected by his or her insurance provider. Consequently, I don’t judge individuals who file for bankruptcy or lose their homes.
Arrests are another matter, however. If one of my neighbors is arrested for dealing cocaine, molesting children or robbing a bank, I want to know about it so I don’t allow that individual to watch my home while I’m on vacation. I realize people are innocent until proven guilty, but I would rather err on the side of caution until a verdict is reached by a court of law.
In the event I was getting divorced, going bankrupt or losing my home, I would rather have my friends and acquaintances find out about it by reading The Republic than getting second-hand information from another individual. If you have ever played the game that involves sitting in a circle and whispering information in each others’ ears until the information has made its way around the entire circle, you also would prefer that people read about it in the newspaper. As the circle game indicates, gossip or the word-of-mouth tends to distort accurate information.
Whether people read about it in the newspaper, find it on the internet or get the information from a mutual acquaintance, many individuals are going to judge those who get divorces, go bankrupt or lose their homes. Fortunately, other individuals are going to do everything possible to help get their friends and acquaintances through their difficulties.
In my opinion, The Republic does a wonderful job of being objective. It would be doing a disservice to all of its readers and the community if it began publishing just positive news.
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