Word Of Mouth

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2002

Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel. Callers must leave their name and a number at which they can be contacted (usually between 8 a.m. and noon). Only comments accompanied by a name will be published and only after the caller's identity is verified. Callers' names will appear in print. Call 586-4636 and press 8255 to leave a message.

I was shocked to see the "Sitka man killed by Filipino gunmen" article on the front page of Friday's Juneau Empire. The title was very badly written since it indicated to me that the incident had happened in Sitka. What upset me even more was that the Juneau Empire had chosen to use the word "Filipino" in the title. Having read the article I discovered that it was referring to an incident in the Philippines and no where is it stated the nationality of the shooters. The very same article also appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, however the title was "Alaskan Killed in Philippines." Obviously there is a huge difference between the two titles and I find it very disturbing that the Juneau Empire changed the Associated Press' title to give it a racist pitch. Why did the Juneau Empire chose to change title? What was the intent? After the paintball incidents in Anchorage and the nationwide effort to show tolerance to peoples of all faiths and nationalities, why is our local paper sending messages that Filipinos are killing Sitkans? I think the Juneau Empire owes the Filipino communities in Southeast an apology and that a retraction of the article needs to be stated in the paper ASAP.

Nelda Stewart

(We apologize to those who interpreted the headline as racist. As the story explained, the Sitka man was killed in the Philippines. Police believe his killers were anti-government guerrillas. - Editor)

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