Reaction To Articles On Tragedy A Lot To Do With Expectations



Your editorial "More Than Headlines" is a very thoughtful piece of work. I appreciate knowing a little more about the process by which you make such decisions. I also feel that if I were ever the subject of a similar news piece written under your guidance, the story would be presented respectfully.

As with much of human conflict and anger, the family's source of frustration is centered on expectations. The family didn't expect the man to be taken from them, they didn't expect him to die that way, and they didn't expect to have to re-live the pain by reading the Roundup.

Obviously, the third factor is the only one over which you had control. Of course, you had to write the story, but did you manage their expectations by telling them of it in advance? Obviously, if they'd had time to think about it -- difficult given the circumstances -- they would have realized that the event was front-page news.

Similarly, your expectations should include getting angry phone calls like the daughter's. It is part of your job.

More than that, however, those phone calls are also an opportunity. I think your conversation with her, and your column go a long way toward exceeding her expectation that someone showed compassion and concern about the issue.

I hope you also invite her out for coffee, spend a few minutes looking beyond the story, and maybe in doing so you will help her with the grieving process.

Keep up the good work. I'd rather read the Roundup twice a week than a whole month's worth of Republics.

John Washington, Phoenix

Commenting has been disabled for this item.