I read The Herald daily, as I have for some time, and see letters from readers complaining about the angles from which news and opinions are presented, media bias, etc. I see the decline of newspapers across the country and the disappearance of reliable, thorough, and objective local news sources. I also hear the pleas to continue supporting local journalism as a vital part of what we should all want; a healthy community.
The front-page story this week about the arrest of Molly Wright as she recorded an arrest by an Everett Police officer was not news (“‘My rights were violated’: Everett officer arrests Everett woman filming him,” The Herald, Nov. 28), and while I believe The Herald generally endeavors to make positive contributions to the community, this story was harmful and needlessly inflammatory. I feel a little dumber having read it, and wish I could have the time back.
The Herald published a story about a woman who was driven to provoke a police officer. Eventually, after warnings were given, the officer responded with a lawful action she didn’t like. This was a consequence of her behavior; she earned an arrest.
Don’t get me wrong, I think our notion of policing needs reform in many ways, and police officers do need to be held to the highest standards of professionalism, honor and integrity. But I also think we live in a society where sometimes the consequences of making poor decisions are few and far between. This is to our collective detriment.
The publication of stories like this in our barely-surviving local newspaper are an insult to those dedicated through public-service to ensuring our collective well-being, and alienate a segment of the shrinking readership that still cares enough about local news to support it. The Herald, like Molly Wright and everyone else (including police officers), should give careful consideration to the consequences of their actions.
The Herald should also hold itself to the highest standards of professionalism, honor, and integrity.