I’d like to take a moment this week and explain a bit about our news coverage.
As many of you may know, an incident took place last week at O’Fallon High School where three girls were taken into police custody, and then released to their parents, after they got into a fight at school. Another boy was also taken into custody in an unrelated incident for allegedly ignoring a teacher’s safety directive. Aside from this column, we have chosen not to pursue these incidents for our news coverage.
You may notice that we don’t feature a police blotter or much crime content. Occasionally we will run information related to an incident or crime as it is provided to us by the O’Fallon or Shiloh police departments. However we generally make it a rule to do so when either A.) the public’s safety is at risk, or B.) when the police are requesting public assistance and need us to help get the word out. We will always support law enforcement and aid them whenever we are called upon to do so.
Since we launched we’ve made an effort to concentrate on the positive and good things taking place in O’Fallon and Shiloh. There’s plenty of positive news to fill our pages that we’ve rarely needed to broach any of the negative aspects of the region. And Lord knows you don’t have to go very far to find bad news, as it seems like the entirety of the media has adopted the “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality. Personally, I wonder if part of the reason we seem to have such a negative culture these days is because we’ve been fed nothing but negativity by our media. But I digress…
While some may argue that we are not accurately bringing you all of the information about the area by leaving out the crime related news, I’d argue that most of what makes up a police blotter is not information anyone really needs to know. Do we really need to know a person was pulled over after having a few too many to drink the other night and slept it off in the drunk tank? Do we really need to know that the couple down the street has marital issues and got into a fairly heated argument? It’s my belief that we don’t.
We all have our drama and problems that we’re dealing with. Some have it a bit worse than others. Those folks don’t need their personal issues printed in the local newspaper for everyone to read about.
Regarding the incident at the high school on Friday, we discussed internally whether or not to report on it for this edition. We chose not to because, ultimately, kids will be kids. Obviously, if a student is found to have committed a crime, something involving drugs or the threat of violence perhaps, that would be reported. However when a couple of high school students get into a fight, we, more often than not, will choose to let that be handled by the school, local law enforcement, and the parents and not report on it.
Maybe you feel differently and believe we should cover crime. If so, drop me a note at Nick@OFallonWeekly.com and let me know. For the time being though, we will continue to focus on the positive side of our community.