I fully understand that the business of journalism relies on sensationalist headlines and scandal. But I’d like to take this small space to remind you of where it is you are trying to do business. Henry County is a (sometimes unfortunately) place where most people know the story long before this paper is printed. For you, it is sometimes difficult to realize your place here, but it was no more apparent than when I read your article concerning Michael Wells on the front page of the Dec. 17 paper.
Your story did an excellent job reporting facts. That’s fine, as for archival purposes those of future generations will know exactly what happened as reported at that point. What it failed to do, miserably so, was include any sort of respect or consideration for the feelings of family members involved, or any sort of consideration for elements that are less easily printed in black and white — for instance, someone’s mental instability.
What occurred here was a tragedy in many ways. Not only did a family of years of dedication to this community and numerous philanthropic contributions lose a business, but they lost a son. Your newspaper reduced these events to an offensive headline.
To Bill and Gin, our hearts and prayers go out to you.