Letter to the Editor

Appalled. Disappointed. Disgusted. The January 21, 2021 issue of this paper boasted two large pictures and details of persons who’d been arrested recently on the front page, with no reporter’s name listed. One should be questioning, why?

After the last front page story that was run inappropriately about a local arrest, including many details that only made the story “juicier,” a former Messenger employee challenged the writing staff to “be better, do better.” Prior to that, a “front page-worthy” story was run about a grown man and his arrest, and included who his family is. There was uproar about how inappropriate that was, and a letter calling The Messenger out on it followed.

Here’s my theory as to how The Messenger staff believes they are “being better, doing better.” In the most recent issue, instead of singling out the one person whose family has been outspoken with disagreements of the reporting of this paper, they didn’t name who her family is. By running the other person’s arrest “story,” they’ve not targeted her and her family. That’s one way to attempt to make it acceptable with a very thin smoke screen.

Is there really so little to report on in our county that arrests are front page news? If so, then maybe it should go to a bi-weekly publication, so there’s sufficient events to report.

Is there a single person who has not made a poor choice in their life? Think about your own, and if you’d appreciate having it broadcast for all to read about. Public records are published. Is that not more than enough publicity? The fact is, any person can access arrest reports, but most don’t care enough to put in the work to do it. Many will read it when provided for them, because trash sells unfortunately.

This “reporting” lacked all journalistic integrity. Clearly the staff have no intention of being better and doing better when they have an ax to grind. So readers, it’s our job to hold them to task and require better from them. Previous calls for them to clean up their act has yielded no progress. How do you suppose we can get our point across that their readers don’t support this type of “reporting?”

Whatever happened to The Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated? Or, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. How about giving grace, as we all need it ourselves daily. We all live in glass houses; it’s risky business to start throwing stones.

I have had a subscription to this newspaper for decades, conveniently delivered to my mailbox weekly. I truly regret that my subscription may have unintentionally supported this classless edition of it. This is the straw that broke my camel’s back.

To The Messenger and its readers, BE BETTER. DO BETTER.

A work in progress, saved by God’s grace,

Allison Stull, of Brandenburg

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