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December 27, 2012

Letter: Gun threat coverage raised questions

To the editor:

In a front page story of Saturday’s paper, (the Times, Saturday, Dec. 22) you reported that police received a call from a “credible source” reporting that someone might have written a gun threat on a bathroom wall in the school.

In the next paragraph, staff writer Marjorie Nesin reports “Police found no such markings in any of the high school, after checking all of the bathrooms.”

As an employee of the school, this is the same information I received during my work day.

Why then, in Editor Ray Lamont’s column (”Why Did My Newspaper Do That?”) do you say that your choice to report the story was “to ease some parents’… minds by emphasizing that no sign of a gun had been found…”? Not only was there was no gun in the school, but there wasn’t even any confirmation of written threat.

If you do choose to report on this type of a story, especially in the aftermath of Newtown, when we are all at a heightened level of anxiety, it is more important than ever to get all of the facts and not leave readers with a wrong impression.

Why did the column not clearly state that neither a gun nor a written threat had actually been found?

NANCY GOODMAN

Caleb’s Lane, Rockport

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