June 06, 2020

Reporting insensitive

On Dec. 21, the Bangor Daily News reported the death of a young woman in Orono. The reporter quoted a representative of the Maine State Police: “Whether it was a suicide or an accident, we have no answer for that, and we probably never will.” However, later in the same story the reporter, in the absence of any information that would contradict the police investigator’s conclusion, took it upon herself to describe the incident as an apparent suicide, and proceeded to launch into a story on suicides among college students.

This “reporting” displayed a lack of regard for accuracy, as well as gross insensitivity to an extremely unfortunate and heartbreaking incident. If the BDN editors wished to publish a story about suicides among college students, that was their right. But to use the death of this young woman to provide a segue to such a story was both irresponsible and callous.

Andy Egan


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