Earlier today, this website broke the news of a reported suicide that took place inside a classroom building on the campus of the University of South Carolina.
You can read our coverage of what transpired HERE.
Our news site did its best to cover this unfortunate situation in a simple, straightforward manner. We provided basic information about what happened, we identified the law enforcement agency that would be leading the investigation into the matter, we expressed our sense of sorrow over the situation, we offered our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of the victim and we even provided a suicide prevention hotline number for people who might be dealing with similar troubles.
Furthermore, we declined to publish all of the information we were provided regarding this incident – including the name of the victim and other details surrounding her death.
That decision might cost us in terms of “clicks,” but we did not believe it was appropriate to publish all of the information we obtained.
Apparently our editorial judgment was not appreciated …
We’ve received numerous responses from readers criticizing our handling of the situation.
“I understand the schtick here is to be irreverent, but today’s piece was beyond the pale,” one reader responded.
Several other readers sent us a link to a website offering guidelines on suicide reporting – encouraging us to read up on the subject.
Even our editorial assessment that the victim’s untimely demise was “very sad” came under criticism, with one reader referring to this remark as demonstrating “a glibness that I found really inappropriate.”
To be clear: We stand by every word of our reporting, the accuracy of which has been borne out by follow-up reports from multiple mainstream media outlets in the Palmetto State. Furthermore, we believe our coverage of this unfortunate incident was entirely appropriate – albeit uncomfortable for some readers to digest.
Having said that, we certainly apologize to any readers who were offended by our post. It was not our intention to upset anyone – least of all those closest to this tragedy. Furthermore, we appreciate some of the points raised by readers who objected to our post – and will certainly take their perspectives under advisement in the future.
We don’t always get it right, and we are always trying to be better messengers within the marketplace of ideas.
To that end, we will always welcome the feedback of our readers on any story we cover … and do our best to take that feedback to heart.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Banner via iStock