Empire wrong to print crime-suicide link

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 21, 2005

I am sick and outraged by your front page on Sunday of Jan. 16, 2005.

Is the new editor of the Juneau Empire turning Juneau's daily paper into nothing more then a scandal sheet? Scandal ..."anything that offends moral feelings and leads to disgrace." What purpose did it serve to write the gory details of the Blake Sanford suicide in September of 2004? Did it help the victims of the crimes heal? Did it assist in any way in the prosecution of St. Clair? Did it glorify the police department? What positive impact on the Juneau community did a front page article on the death of 21-year-old Blake Sanford have? Maybe all the editor was interested in was selling papers? Must have been a really slow day for news.

I was born and raised in Juneau, and during the 1950s Juneau was a community that cared about its youth, and cared about the people within the community. The Juneau Empire was a big part of that. I remember once when I was a senior in high school and a bunch of us had a "party" out at the skater's cabin. The police shut it down and the Empire said they were going to print the names of all the teenagers at the party. The paper never did, but guess what? It scared us all so bad we confessed to our parents and took the punishment they dished out to us.

I guess the editor of the Juneau Empire has the journalistic ethics of the National Enquiry, "if it's news print it, and who cares who gets hurt." Furthermore who cares if it's truth. If you really want to serve the Juneau community, why not some articles on the high rate of suicide in Alaska, or on the very real problem of alcoholism and drug abuse?

I am a published author and write under my maiden name Sanford. Blake was my nephew.

Another loss to Juneau is a daily newspaper that cares about the community and its people. How sad.

Loretta Cuellar

Morganton, N.C.

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