Our view: Sometimes the news isn’t pretty

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

For readers who picked up a copy of the Nov. 23 edition of The Greenville Advocate, it might have seemed jarring seeing multiple stories featuring negative events related to our local coverage area.

Two of the stories covered a week ago shared details of stories some more wholesome individuals might read and think, “I can’t believe this happened,” or, “How could this happen in our small town?”

The news will not always be pretty, and we must report those matters when the events occur or whenever a diligent reporter uncovers the story.

Why do newspapers cover crime stories? Several reasons immediately come to mind.

When covering crime stories, especially one where the suspect may still be at-large, releasing details on the suspect’s appearance and last known whereabouts could help lead to an arrest. Making the information available also lets members of the community know they should be vigilant.

Crime stories also serve the community as a deterrent showing the punishments someone may face for committing a crime, though criminals these days seem emboldened to the point where publishing crime stories as a means of public accountability don’t seem to be quite as effective. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try.

For the readers who happen to care about fiscal responsibility and where their tax dollars are being spent, every story covering a felony arrest serves as a published record showing community members are getting their money’s worth when it comes to local law enforcement and what they’re getting accomplished.

We’re grateful for all our law enforcement, first responders, and civic leaders who cooperate with us as we meet our obligation to bring these stories to the forefront.