Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

December 9, 2012

HAWES: Keeping readers informed

— A few readers questioned our coverage of the arrest of Mayor Ted Franklin’s son on marijuana charges last week.

For those who missed the story, Jeremy Franklin was arrested Wednesday during a routine traffic stop in Monticello. State police say a police dog sniffed out three pounds of marijuana in his car.

The arrest was Franklin’s second this year. He was arrested in Logansport in April on charges of possession and dealing in marijuana. He is scheduled for a change of plea hearing in that case on Dec. 17.

News of young Franklin’s most recent arrest drew a lot of attention on our Facebook page. Some of those who posted comments objected to the fact that we made the mayor part of the story. The young man is 31 years old, they said. What does his father have to do with his arrest?

“I understand they feel the need to mention he is the mayor’s son,” one reader posted on Facebook, “but really folks, he is responsible for himself and his own bad decisions.”

Another noted, “I think he’s old enough to do what he wants. I’m sure his dad’s not too happy, but you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink unless he wants to.”

One accused the newspaper of selective reporting.

“The Pharos-Tribune reports what they want and don’t report what they don’t want to,” she wrote.

Our goal always is to be fair and to be consistent. We don’t leave out stories about people we like or play up stories about people we don’t.

The reader went on to call out the managing editor personally.

“I often wonder if Kelly Hawes’ son ever got into trouble, when he gets older, if it would actually appear on the front page of the Pharos?” she asked. “Somehow I doubt it! But if it is the mayor’s son, you better believe it will be in there!”

My hope is that her theory will never be tested, but I can tell her what I’ve told my 17-year-old son. If he ever gets arrested, he can rest assured his name will be in the newspaper, and if he’s accused of a crime that would normally make the front page, that’s where his story will be.

Honestly, we try not to treat the children of newspaper employees any differently than we would treat anyone else’s children.

For myself, I try to steer clear of decisions about the handling of stories that involve me or my family. I leave those decisions to other members of our staff.

Frankly, though, we bend over backward in an effort to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

I’m reminded of a story about a small-town newspaper editor who found himself arrested on a charge of drunken driving. He had made a habit of putting such arrests on the front page, and he wanted to be sure he gave himself no better treatment.

His first phone call from the jail was to his newspaper’s photographer, and he ran the photo of his disheveled countenance on the front page of the next edition.

Readers expect their local newspaper to give them the news without fear or favor, and that is what we try to deliver.

If the child of an elected official gets arrested, members of the public want to be assured that the individual gets no favored treatment.

Our goal is to fulfill our obligation of keeping readers informed.

We will make no assumptions about guilt or innocence. We will simply report the proceedings and let justice take its course.

Kelly Hawes is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5155 or kelly.hawes@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Thankful to community for its care, prayers Thank you to Kyle Rans, Harrison-Metzger-Rans, Guardian Angels Hospice, Royal Center first responders and ambulance drivers for the gentle care and comforting words extended to our family. Thank you to the

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.