You be the Editor: Would you tell about bad letter?

April 25, 2007 11:00 pm

There were no takers on last week's "You be the Editor" dilemma.

You may recall that earlier this year, I offered readers a

challenge: You be the

editor. Each Thursday, this column would present an ethical or policy decision about news coverage that an editor might have to make. Readers are invited to share how they would handle the dilemma.

So, here is last week's dilemma, in hopes that everyone just got a little busy with spring cleaning:

On a Friday afternoon, you receive a signed letter to the editor that is critical of a school principal. You know when the letter is published it will cause a rumble in the community. You also know that because of publication deadlines, the letter can't be published until Tuesday's issue.

Do you:

A) In advance of

publication show the letter to the principal so he can have time to draft a response that can be printed in the same issue.

B) Print the letter and let others, including the principal, respond in a letter on the issues listed in the complaint.

Let's hear your answers. E-mail them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Write "You be the Editor" in the subject line. Please note that time limitations prevent me from taking phone calls to discuss the case study.

I'll print some of the responses next Thursday.

If there are none, we'll move on to another dilemma.

Reach Rob Bignell, The Daily Triplicate's editor, at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it