Thursday, May 8, 2008

Editor, Please

Friend Ben writes The Province:

Letter to the Editor,

Re: Boy, 11, rouses building's tenants – The Province, Page A3 - Thursday, May 8, 2008

NORTH VANCOUVER: Three elderly women die as flames sweep through apartments

I take issue with the manner in which the fatal fire in North Vancouver has been handled by your newspaper and by local television.

Frank Luba's hard news story is certainly well-written, but the newspaper has inverted the important elements in an offensive way. Three elderly women died. The boy as hero should only be a silver-lining sidebar to a very sad lead story. At the very least, the headline and kicker should have been reversed. More important, media members in general should strive to keep news matters in an appropriate perspective, rather than spin stories in a way that diminishes the value of victims and takes attention away from what should be the central points. Coverage like that encourages readers and viewers to disregard the bigger picture. And that is a very dangerous thing for society to do.

Bentley Doyle

Vancouver, BC

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