Story by Tyler Anderson, Opinion Editor
The Murray State News Editorial Board, staff and contributors would like to extend our humblest thoughts and prayers to the Marshall County community and those affected by the recent shooting. Loss of life is difficult to comprehend, but even more so when it affects the youngest and most vulnerable in our society.
As a group of students dedicated to the art of local reporting, we at The News take our position as a community leader seriously. That is why we have dedicated the past few days to gathering as much information as possible regarding the Marshall County High School shooting. Those who have made their home, however temporary, here in western Kentucky deserve to be informed at all times.
Our publication this week is devoted to fulfilling this mission. In the face of tragedy and loss, the importance of reporting in a way which is respectful of those affected should be a priority; we have done our due diligence in honoring this important tenet of any professional news organization.
We have received questions throughout the week on why we have not mentioned the name of the alleged suspect or showed a photo of him.
The News will not publish information on the suspect until Kentucky State Police officially release the details because he is a juvenile. If he is charged as an adult then the court proceedings would become public, it is the belief of the staff that then- and only then- would it be appropriate to to release that information.
As collegiate journalists we are taught to abide by the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which includes harm. We asked ourselves what journalistic value would there be in releasing that information prematurely and whether or not it would cause more harm. In the end, it was a collective decision to withhold the identity of the alleged suspect.
This tragedy marks the 11th school shooting of 2018, a year still in its infancy. This is not simply a statistic: it is our reality.
Gun violence is endangering the lives of our future newswriters, doctors and inventors.
And in today’s increasingly interconnected world, there is little reason for the disconnect concerning how to resolve this plague on our nation. It is time we as a country come together to combat senseless violence.
We cannot continue to call the United States “the greatest country on Earth” if we allow this to happen over and over again.