Letter to the Editor: Callous coverage

After reading Russ Rizzo’s column about how The GW Hatchet strove to portray the brutal murder of student Jonathan Rizzo sensitively (“Covering a GW tragedy responsibly,” Aug. 27, p. 4), I had to scrape my jaw up from the floor. Who is he kidding?

While the article that paid tribute to who Jonathan was did handle the subject matter well, the article detailing how he died was outrageous. There was absolutely no need to describe his murder so graphically in a student newspaper that is read not only by those who cared about him the most, but also by those who simply prefer not to be bombarded with the gruesome image of a fellow student’s last few moments.

Of course, none of this should come as a shock to any of us at a time when the media seems more obsessed with sensationalism than with practicing responsible journalism. I am extremely disappointed that our school newspaper felt the need to provide the student body with excessive, painful details simply to increase readership. This person is not some faceless victim. He was someone’s son, brother or friend. In the future please remember that when you try to use shock value as a way to increase readership or gratify your own ego, you are pouring salt into an already open wound.

Our media seems to have forgotten that people are easily hurt by words. I am just ashamed and sorry our school newspaper has also forgotten that.

-Jena Valdetero

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