Covering crime, courts is our responsibility

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Most Mondays and Tuesdays, you can find stories recapping sentencing hearings from Berrien and Cass county courts on the front page of the Niles Daily Star. Our reporters attend these hearings weekly and report the judge’s decisions and the crimes that happened leading up to them.

At various times throughout the week, you can find the police log and reports of crimes that happen in the communities we cover. With the help of our local police department, we highlight the most wanted criminals in Niles.

Several people have questioned why we feel these stories are newsworthy, or why we report on instances that many people feel should be kept private.

The answer is simple: We feel it is our responsiblity to the community do so.

When it all boils down, the purpose of journalism is to provide readers with information. Various entities have different concepts of what they believe is reportable information.

At Leader Publications, we believe it is for the greater good of our readership to be aware of the crimes happening in their backyard. We certainly acknowledge that when these crimes happen, more people are affected than just the victim and the plantiff. Families and friends on both sides are impacted, and we certainly take that into consideration.

However, when a criminal commits a crime that could potentially endanger others in the community, or participates in an offense that people in the community could learn from moving forward, we feel obligated as the reporters of your local news to provide our readers with this information.

At the end of the day, newspaper reporters serve their readers, and we feel we are providing a necessary service. We hope you feel the same.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.