Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Accident photo was shocking

Does the Express have a policy about the use of images depicting a victim of a crime or accident that graphically display the nature of the event? We, your readers, are the backbone of this small community. We know each other, care deeply about each other and are woven together into a pretty great fabric. How shocking to find a color image of my dear friend pinned in his car on the front page.

Greg Cappel is working hard to heal. His family and friends are surrounding him with love. But some people didn't even know of the accident until the paper came out Friday. Does sensational reporting trump compassion and sensitivity? Is there a time that an image like this truly serves the community you support? My hope is that no other family will have to see an image like this in your paper and that you will act responsibly to put policies in place that put this delicate issue in the foreground of your news coverage.

Thanks to your writer for acknowledging the real news: that this is an extremely dangerous intersection and that something must be done. Perhaps the other real news can be found in the stories of the great people who stopped—of the nurse who didn't leave Greg's side until rescue workers arrived, keeping him still and probably saving his life. Or of the man who climbed onto the hood of the car to keep eye contact with Greg, providing the critical human connection that sustains life. Those are stories I want one of my local papers to cover.

Please assure us that you have policies in place that are sensitive to your readers. And if this image was used in error, please tell us you're sorry.

R.L. Rowsey


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