To the editor:
Recently hired Press-Banner editor Jon Chown is apparently determined to waste no time leaving his mark on the paper. The changes in typography and layout I can take or leave. However, I strongly object to Chown's decision to publish the names of individuals who have recently been apprehended by local police and sheriff's deputies. Though he notes that "these are only charges, and not guilty verdicts," the damage done to the reputation of the person and their family by such publicity can never be entirely undone, regardless of the eventual outcome of the case.
I don't know where Chown has plied his trade before assuming the Press-Banner editorship, but "trial by media" has no place in a group of small communities who take pride in taking care of their own as best they can.
Editor’s note: I am not trying to “make my mark,” but merely reporting and have worked at a half dozen small newspapers with similar policies. Probably from the time newspapers were started, and certainly in all media outlets today, the names of individuals arrested for crimes are reported long before they are convicted. For instance, we were all aware of O.J. Simpson’s charges long before he was found not guilty. We are not “trying anybody in the media,” by merely reporting an arrest in a log. But I will listen to our readership and if there is really a desire to not have the arrest reports printed, we will concentrate our efforts elsewhere.