From: Jason Ashcraft
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 4:17 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: News in bad taste
(Ironically, this story link no longer exists, but you can clearly read what the headline was in the web address below)
This headline and story focus is a horrible and unethical way to present the fact that investigators are searching for a next-of-kin. Animals feeding on a decomposing body is not even remotely considered newsworthy nor should it be the focus of this story. Why does it matter to the general public and readers that animals fed on a decomposing body? We get it. They’re animals. What service have you done by exposing this information other than pissing on a dead person’s grave? Investigators are searching for a next of kin. That’s it. That’s the only reason something like this should be published or even considered newsworthy. Get some morals over there and have respect for family members who haven’t learned of their relatives death. Stuff like this is one of many reasons your media is struggling……
RE: News in bad taste
I am the managing editor of the CJ and was asked to respond to your email. First, I want to thank you for taking the time to write. You raise some good points, many of which we discussed yesterday before deciding to go with the short news item, provided to us by the Jefferson County coroner, about this woman’s tragic death.
It could be argued that this small item will do more than the usual next-of-kin notice to raise awareness of the need to take care of and check in on our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
That said, I understand your concerns, and will bring them up with other editors here.
Again, thank you for writing.
My Jarhead response (not emailed):
Good. But are you suggesting that the Jefferson County coroner’s office has two methods of finding a next of kin, one faster and more efficient than the other? I’m referencing your comment “this small item will do more than the usual next-of-kin notice to raise awareness of the need?”
You need any other advice on anything else?