After the two articles were posted on our website (the evening before they appeared in print), I received a call from Jordan’s former basketball coach. He objected to our article about the young man’s run-ins with the law.
I invited him to comment on the qualities that he admired in Jordan. The coach’s comments then became the basis for the first portion of the main print article about Jordan’s death. (We had unsuccessfully attempted to get comments from Jordan’s family, as well, for the article about his death.)
The next morning, an irate uncle of Jordan called to complain about our reporting, and I invited him to comment, as well, about the positive things that Jordan had done. He did not accept that invitation, but I believe the obituary published Saturday in The Herald Bulletin included the family’s perspective on the life of Quayshawn Jordan.
In the final analysis, The Herald Bulletin chose to serve the interest of readers by reporting what we knew about the victim’s criminal history. While we feel sympathy for victims’ families and strive to avoid needlessly exacerbating their pain, in the end, we are accountable to the community to publish pertinent information when we know it.
Editor Scott Underwood’s column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 640-4845.