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Archive for Saturday, December 5, 1992

STORY CRITICISM

December 5, 1992

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To the editor:

Never have I been so thoroughly disgusted by the Lawrence Journal-World as I was when I read the headline on Nov. 29, regarding the tragic murders of Jerry Thompson and Jim Buswell at Henry T's Bar and Grill.

The headline set the tone, blaming the victims for working on their day off. This theme was repeated in the two following paragraphs. If they had stuck to their original plan and taken the day off, they would not be dead. They have some nerve.

I am sure that the reporter was attempting to stab at creativity rather than suggesting that the victims were somehow responsible for their killer's actions. However, this reporting style smacks of the same type of sensational journalism that has been sweeping the nation in the last few years. This is the same slanted style of reporting that suggests that women who dress provocatively deserve to be raped.

Just the facts, please. Let's talk about facts, or in the case of this particular story, the lack of facts. I refer to the quotes on the final page regarding the last time there was a double homicide in Lawrence. The police said the shootings were the first double homicide since at least the 1960s. Well, was it 1961 or 1969? Lt. Mike Hall and Sgt. Ron Dalquest, long-time veterans of the force, said they could not recall another double homicide. By all means, let's not do any research to find out just exactly when Lawrence experienced a double homicide. I guess your reporters don't have access to microfilm or police records.

It seems that the same standards I was held accountable for in the school of journalism do not apply to real life.

Kimberly Sonnich,

2546 Cedarwood.

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