Thanks to everyone for pitching in during Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak Week. I wanted to do more than complain about why the news media was ignoring her case. One Monday, you helped to compile a list of media outlets who have covered similar cases. One Wednesday, we published the list of contacts you compiled and today, we want you to share the responses you received.
One reader has already sent in the response they received from Reuters:
Every reply that I received thus far was from an auto-generated reply system except for the one I received from Reuters which I will list below. -WAOD Treader TrulyPC
Your comments were forwarded to me. I appreciate your interest in the decision-making process regarding our trial news coverage. News coverage involves many choices. Many critics complain that too many news stories are insignificant. Editors reply that readers want to be entertained as well as informed. Some choices are determined by geography. Reuters, as a large international news organization, will make different decisions than a local U.S. newspaper.
Because two trials are happening at the same time doesn't mean that both would be of equal interest to readers -- at least in the eyes of editors, who decide what stories Reuters covers. While there are many factors to consider -- what sort of crime, what were the crime's details -- a big part of what makes a trial of interest to readers is whether there is doubt about the outcome. Consider the O.J. Simpson trial. The murders of Sgt. Pietrzak and his wife five years ago are tragic, but the outcome of the trial of their killers was not unexpected. On the other hand, the controversy over the Trayvon Martin case has indicated there is wide interest in what will take place in the courtroom, and there appears to be no consensus on how the trial will end.
Sometimes editors make mistakes, and sometimes worthy stories go uncovered. Even the best staffed news organizations do not have enough people to cover as many stories as they'd like.
It is obvious that many people disagree with many of the choices that news organizations make. They certainly have the ability to seek out the coverage they're interested in at the many alternative news sources online. Thank you for taking the time to write, and thank you for visiting Reuters.com.
Ethics and Standards
Thanks for sharing. Feel free to leave the responses you received in the comments section or use the contact form to email them to me.
WAOD readers ROCK!