No need to bring up previous fatalities

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I am not quite sure of how to begin this letter. We have a very good newspaper in Lancaster. 

The reporters are good and many of them have won awards for the stories they have written. But, I have a problem with how the reporters for The Lancaster News and other news media in television and paper cover stories.

My case in point is the article on the death of T.J. Looper that appeared in the Jan. 26 edition of The Lancaster News. I thought that the story was well-written and informative without being offensive until I got to the end of the story. That is where I read the recounts of two previous accidents in which teenagers were killed.

Having been in the position of having a child to die in an automobile accident, my question is this: Why were these previous accidents included in the article? They had no bearing at all to the information concerning T.J. Looper. I know from experience what effect this type of reporting has on families. All that including information such as this accomplishes is to stir up memories and feelings that the families of these other children are trying to handle day by day.

I read The Lancaster News and know many people who work there. I know that these reporters have a paper to fill with information for our community. I am not asking the reporters to shirk their duties. All I am asking is that they take into account the feelings of others when they include information that really has no bearing to the story. Before including information such as this, I ask that the reporters stop and ask themselves: “How would I feel if I read an account of my child’s death in the newspaper again?”


Ricki Phipps