The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Letters to the editor

January 29, 2012

EDITORIAL: Telling the truth, even when it’s sick

GREENVILLE — Last week we printed a story that has gotten more attention than anything we’ve published in the Herald-Banner for years.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The story was about a man who was accused of having sex with a horse, then trying to steal an officer’s weapon after he got caught.

We don’t like having to print stories like this in the paper because it’s so heartbreaking, and in this case stomach-turning, to know what’s happening around us.  We wish stories like this never occurred.

When they do, though, we’re going to print them because it’s our job to tell people what’s happening in Hunt County even —and perhaps most importantly — when it’s unpleasant.

Since that story came out, we’ve been criticized for printing it for a variety of reasons.

Some people say it’s inappropriate for children to hear about such things, and we can sympathize with this argument. Many of us at the paper have young children, and there are things happening in the community that we would rather they not know about until they are older. Still, it’s our obligation to print what’s happening locally, even though that can sometimes shatter innocence.

Some people have accused us of sensationalizing the story. If we had put it at the top of our front page, with a giant headline that screamed from newsstands, they might have a point. But we didn’t do that.

We knew this story would be the No. 1 topic of conversation in Greenville the next day, but we intentionally printed it with a small, straightforward headline. We even put it below the fold, where it couldn’t be seen in news racks to drive sales of the paper.

Now, five days after the story was printed, we’re still getting Facebook comments and hearing people’s reaction in the community. If anything, we think the Herald-Banner underplayed this story based on the strong opinions and countless conversations it’s spawned since it was published.

When you work for a newspaper, you learn to have thick skin. We expect to be roasted by readers from time to time because our work is very public and can be controversial. Believe it or not, we like getting critical feedback from our readers because it helps us learn to do a better job in the future and shows that readers care deeply about what we do.

But there’s one criticism we’ve heard lately that bothers us. It’s the idea that the Herald-Banner should have not printed this particular story because it makes Hunt County look bad.

We want to make one thing clear: This newspaper is not a public relations tool. We’re not out to paint the Greenville area in a positive light, nor is our goal to use our news pages to attract new industries.

We just want to tell the truth. We’re going to continue to tell the good truths, just as we did this week with stories about the Worthy Citizen, businesses expanding and awards being given, along with the bad truths about criminals and perverts.

Our job is to reflect Hunt County as it really is, not how we wish it to be. If people are offended by what’s happening here, they should turn their attention to the facts themselves rather than the messenger.

1
Text Only
Letters to the editor
  • Health services kudos

    I am writing this letter of appreciation because two weeks ago I had my second knee replacement surgery within six months.

    July 20, 2014

  • Kill the YMCA project

    In addressing the city council on July 8th, YMCA board president Andy Bench made a bold and highly questionable claim that raised a red flag in my mind. He referenced the alleged financial commitment made by The Greenville Independent School District to help pay for his proposed $15 million taxpayer funded YMCA.

    July 20, 2014

  • Applaud Court’s return to interpretive sanity

    I applaud the Supreme Court’s return to Constitutional interpretive sanity in its recent finding in favor of Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies, to decline to pay for certain medications that they believe violate their religious beliefs.

    July 15, 2014

  • Take care of children crossing over border

    The beautiful little Hispanic children coming across the border from Mexico and South America…

    July 14, 2014

  • Not too late to stop proposed YMCA center

    n your Wednesday edition, reporter Brad Kellar briefly touched on the comments of Dr. Jerry Ransom at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

    July 13, 2014

  • Perkins should abstain from YMCA vote

    What if you were a judge? What if you were also Board President of a non profit organization?

    July 5, 2014

  • Say no to YMCA on Tuesday

    An April 28, 2013 ad in the Herald Banner stated that the YMCA/Event Center bond would only add an additional 2.5 cents to the Greenville property tax rate.

    July 5, 2014

  • Already missed

    When I moved back to Greenville after living 17 years in South Texas, I took the advice of my friend, Dr. Bill Thorn, who advised me to become an expert in some field. It didn’t matter what.

    June 26, 2014

  • Freedom of religion

    Texas Constitution and the YMCA

    June 13, 2014

  • Thanks to Park & Rec

    Thank you Kimber Patterson, Brett Quarles and the staff of Greenville Parks and Recreation for the outstanding job you do for our community.

    June 13, 2014

Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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