Article should not have used initials

Dear Editor,

After reading an article in your paper on Wednesday I found myself once again questioning why certain information is included in some articles. I think it might be fair to say, law enforcement understands the newspaper business as well as the newspaper business understands law enforcement/prosecution business. Anyway, that’s what I tell myself when I read/hear some things being reported in the news.

What I do understand is there are specific laws that control the release of certain information, and I understand why those laws are made. Generally they are to protect the identity of certain people be they suspects of victims, until the judicial process reaches a certain point in prosecution. We in law enforcement who investigate these type of crimes and work closely with victims understand a little of what they go through. Victims of certain crimes deal with guilty, person issues, family, friends, fellow students coworkers, law enforcement, attorneys, judges and the press, all of which can be and usually is an embarrassing, frustrating, repetitive, long lasting and emotional roller coaster ride.

It seems there is not a lot any of us can do to minimize some of those issues victims seem to have to go through to get cases prosecuted. The State of Wyoming has decided to make laws that prohibit the release of certain information in these types of cases to try to reduce some of those issues. We in law enforcement also try to minimize the release of identifying information such as names and addresses to help victims during a very stressful and difficult time.

In a community of our size, word of mouth and social media, sometimes information gets out through family, friends, etc., there is not much we can do about that. However, sometimes it seems the news business becomes a party to releasing information that is/was not intended for released and serves no real purpose to be released. In my opinion, the article title “Facing prison time again” in the Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 124th year, 18th issue of the Green River Star does just exactly that. This article identifies the victim as female, 10 or 11 years old, with siblings, and with her initials. (13 times?). Is there no thought of the child, her family or friends when this much information is included in a news article? What is the benefit to anyone to publish that much information? Do you think this child, her siblings, friends, family, etc., want to relive this event again through the press?

I sincerely hope that some discussion takes place prior to releasing sensitive information of this type in future similar news articles. I think it serves no purpose to the public to include this type of identifying information and in fact I think it can be very damaging to the victim and current or future victims who fear the publicity that will come with reporting similar crimes.

I am sure you are aware that crimes of this nature are most often not reported because victims fear the publicity, and reading news articles like this one proves their point!

Thank you for your time.

Burke L. Morin

Green River


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