• I'm glad to read that you would "consider" printing an interview with the former sheriff.  After the hatchet job the Advocate did on him by printing the interview with the so-called victim in the case, though, I doubt if Mr. Ratcliff would consider talking to your paper.  I was stunned by the interview you printed BEFORE trial that could only inflame the public from which a jury will be chosen.  Quite frankly, I think that if I were in jail under circumstances similar to the so-called victim in this case, I might consider making similar claims, too.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained and I just might end up trashing the reputation of a man and getting myself out of a bad legal jam by jamming up somebody else.  If the "victim" was telling the truth about the assault, why didn't he report it at the time?  Was he just waiting until he needed a tale?

    March 25, 2008 at 2:32 p.m.

  • Students are told everyday to change or rearrange clothing to accommodate school rules.  The school did not overact.  The students and parents did when they refused to accept instructions from school authorities.  Public schools are not playgrounds.  The rules are there to protect everyone including silly little girls who want to wear clothing that could get them hurt. 
    The worse problem with picturing the students are "copy cats".  I think kids today will do almost anything to be on camera.  For example, look at the myriad of videos on the internet.

    March 18, 2008 at 9:23 p.m.

  • I believe that there is two sides to every story!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:56 p.m.

  • I myself always have been one to want to hear both sides to every story,regardless of what it's about.I say YES to hearing both sides.

    March 18, 2008 at 9:47 a.m.

  • This has nothing to do with your post, and to be honest I didn't even read it. I just wanted to say...

    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!
    KU is ready for a long tournament run.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:33 p.m.

  • Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with your coverage.  You presented both sides if a fair and honest manner. 
    I believe that the negative comments regarding the picture are overreactions.  Seriously, if you ask a family to take a picture for the newspaper, what else are they going to do?  Frown?  Make a mean face?   Especially if they're trying to give you their side of the story.  Are you suppose to ask them not to smile?  Maybe you could've Photo Shopped a few evil glares on the children. 
    What other response is this family going to give you?  Other than smiling faces?
    I don't see anything wrong with the headline either.  If I can remember a thing or two from a journalism class I took in college, a headline is suppose to grab the readers attention, right?  And it did.  You struck a nerve with some people, and that's not always a bad thing.  And I read quite a few of the VA blogs.....your headline could've been "Family Says School Overreacted" and there would've been people complaining about that as well.  The original headline had some spice....and that's what this town needs now and then.
    I will admit that a few bloggers "demanding answers" from you was quite if you started an actual war or something.  You covered a story....both sides of it....and nobody has the whole story yet, including the police or school administrators. 

    March 15, 2008 at 10:54 p.m.

  • That's certainly a different mix, and I agree that it would be interesting to see the different reaction.

    March 15, 2008 at 4:17 p.m.

  • Hello Chris,
    You ask another question, "Should suspects get their say, photo in the newspaper?" 
     Personally, I say sure, as long as it's well done.
     And that's where the opinion comes in. 
    Putting various grinning suspects on the front page and asking if they are child molestors, robbers, or petty thieves doesn't support the common good of our community, in my opinion. It does seem to belittle the problems they are allegedly accused of, such as kicking in windows, taking advantage of minors, and harrassing shop owners. 
    Without the story, I think the picture has some cute girls, but then you read what they allegedly did, and combined with the headline, and the totality is provoking.
    Even if they are only accused of the crimes, not convicted, the victim(s) also come into play, as well as the larger community for which the Advocate as media sets some example.
    Yet, you're the editor, and it's your call.
    The VA asked, "Does this look like a gang?" and received a hearty response as you well know.  I think the sassy headline combined with the information in the story was combustible, and the picture didn't help. 
    I'd like to see coverage in the VA that didn't even hint at supporting those who commit violence in schools. This story left me wondering about oversight at the VA.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:24 p.m.