Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Friday, January 21, 2005

A Better Understanding

As I read Public Editor Don Wycliff's column headlined Relevance of a checkered past in the Thursday, January 20, 2005, Chicago Tribune, I was reminded of the numerous letters to the editors of both our local newspapers decrying the Spokesman Review's naming the Kootenai County deputy sheriffs involved in the Grouse Meadows shooting on December 28, 2004.

In a recent incident reported by the Chicago Tribune, two employees of a local night club were shot and killed by a man who had been denied admission to the club. Neither employee had done anything wrong, however when the Chicago Tribune published its story about the shooting, it reported in detail the criminal records of both victims. Predictably, the Chicago Tribune was criticized for including this information. Critics generally felt that since both men were victims and not perpetrators, their criminal history was irrelevant.

Mary Dillon, the Chicago Tribune's deputy metro editor who made the decision to include the information, explains in Wycliff's column the rationale she used for the decision. Agree or disagree with the call she made, but her explanation offers a better understanding of newspaper editors' decision-making processes.


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