Coverage causes undue harm

Diane Pottorff

January 3, 2009

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to a front-page article printed Dec. 19 in the Point Pleasant Register that I find both appalling and unjust.
I am thankful for the efforts of our state police and I realize that media are a necessity in a free society, but the coordination of the two often interferes with the idealism of innocent until proven guilty. I was stunned to see Steven Jordans picture plastered on the front page beneath headlines regarding abuse and sexual misconduct.
I am very much aware of the complaints registered against him, but any citizen can accuse another of a crime for various reasons, sometimes out of anger or often from a misunderstanding.
Of course, an investigation must occur, but until the results are confirmed does the newspaper have the right to inflict undue harm and grief to an individual and his innocent family by plastering his picture on the front page? Will you print a similar story if the charges are dropped or he is found innocent of any wrongdoing? Will that, too, make front-page news? Do you have any concern for a mans reputation and the impacts this could have on his life?
I am well acquainted with this young man and on many occasions have witnessed his behavior as a father. His parental skills are impressive, and I, along with many others, would trust him with our own children. Please consider the fact that these are people with lives and loved ones, not just the latest news!

Elaine Chandler,