Paper ‘irresponsible,’ maybe libelous
To the Editor:
I would like to preface my comments by stating that I appreciate the role of local newspapers in delivering news that while not globally or nationally relevant is important to members of small-town communities. Though I don't expect a newspaper like the Morgan County Citizen to report on high profile international stories, I do expect that the stories they do report meet the same standards of journalistic integrity as that of any other news source.
In your recent article titled "Local man busted for child pornography" you provide a detailed narrative of a Mr. John Bankhead, director of public affairs at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
However, you fail to mention any attempt to contact the accused or his representatives. I have never before read, heard, or watched a news story covering a criminal event in which the reporters did not bother to obtain the viewpoint of the accused party.
The absence of statements from Mr. Mastrogiovanni, or at the very least "representatives of Mr. Mastrogiovanni were contacted but did not immediately respond," suggests that you and your staff are merely acting the role of journalists.
I very much doubt that you will publish this letter, but even if you do it does not change the fact that the aforementioned article is not a news report. It is a biased hand-fed press report that borders on the line of propaganda. I don't want you to exonerate or favor my father, I want you to perform your duties as a journalist and attempt to present both sides to every story.
I understand that different news sources may present a story with a slant, but to not include or, at the very least, seek the voice of an involved party is irresponsible at best and libel at worst.