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Re: Former student president fined $795 for prank

Dear editor,

It is not easy in a small town to fill a newspaper with interesting articles. A journalist has to be creative and curious, but also thoughtful and responsible. After all, everyone knows everyone and as much as reading about people you know can inspire, it can also create great harm.

I was very upset when I found a headline in the Fitzhugh two weeks ago about a young Jasper inhabitant, fined by the court for a prank. He is my son’s teammate and I know him to be a very earnest and responsible teenager. He deserved to wear the “A”, or for that matter the “C”, on Jasper’s hockey team. He has his heart and head in the right place. He also has a hot head as do so do many young, teenaged men.

I found it completely unnecessary, if not totally misplaced, that his prank deserved the page-long article and a headline that it received. His actions need not be ignored, but a mention in the court news would have absolutely sufficed.

I don’t think that the writer of this article is himself so far removed from his teenage years to not have an appreciation of how awful this young man might feel now that the whole town was made callously aware of his wrong doings thanks to that article. Going through the process of a court appearance is punishment enough. I don’t like, or want, journalism like this in our town newspaper. It’s ambulance chasing on a slow news week.

Reaching out and finding good examples of people in town who have struggled in one way or another and found a way to turn their situation around might be the harder story to find, but definitely a story far more worth an entire page and bold headline.

Sincerely,
Traudi Golla

Comments (2)

  • Sonja L. Dickey

    What a thoughtful response to this article. I agree wholeheartedly with Traudi Golla’s words.

    Reply
  • Marta Rode

    Fantastic letter to the editor Traudi,

    I agree with you 100%.

    I actually offered a story of an almost universally unprecedented occurrence that was a direct result of me getting sick and the way I’ve chosen to deal with it, i.e.getting published in a medical journal with my doctor based on a survey I put together while I was fighting for life in the hospital, and I never even got a call back from the current editor. I didn’t do it to toot my own horn but to give hope. Not many patients get published as authors in medical journals, and I thought it would give other patients inspiration to find the positive in their disease and take ownership of the current situation, but the paper didn’t even respond to my email. My doctor asked if the media here picked it up and was shocked to hear they weren’t interested, since she knows how very rare this is. So even if the story lands in their lap, they’re not interested unless it’s something sensational (shocking.)

    Good on you for speaking up.

    Reply

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