While I in no way am supporting the violent crime (“Police search Holland home connected to body mutilation suspect,” Dec. 6) that was seemingly committed here, I am asking for you as an institution to hold yourself to a higher standard.
Publishing commentary by a high school classmate, that is clearly based on past recollection and not current perspective, seems not just wrong but unethical in all journalistic sense. Should we not stick to the facts in our publication of stories? Should we not consider that there is a father who might live in that house who does not know the depth of despair of his son? Or, even more disturbingly, perhaps we need to consider the trauma of a child who grew up to be a disturbed man?
I don't know anyone involved in this matter, but I am disturbed by The Sentinel's growing approach toward sensationalizing stories in order to garner viewership and attention. Ethical journalism is a necessity if we are going to push towards a more civil society.
While I understand this is a sensational story in many ways, journalism’s job is not to sensationalize further. Reporting on the arrest, the search for clues, the disgusting nature of the crime is necessary. Haphazardly digging into this man’s past by garnering the easiest and most accessible quote from someone who was seemingly not even his acquaintance in high school and then publishing it as if it is a defining element of this man’s character is not ethical.
If we were all defined by individuals looking in from the outside, we would all be in trouble.