Crime reports should be specific

To the editor:

I would like to comment on the shootings in Steubenville and the manner in which they are reported, especially by the electronic media. There have been violent crimes committed here for years, but the number of homicides this year has been staggering. Certainly, these are newsworthy events and should be reported. However, where they occur is important. My recollection is that almost all of them have occurred in public housing projects or subsidized housing areas and in the evening. These are also the areas of high drug activity. These are areas where the average person will never be.

The recent stabbing in Steubenville occurred at a subsidized apartment complex in the South End of Steubenville. Television reported a stabbing “right in downtown Steubenville.” This apartment complex is five blocks from the central business district. When it is reported that it is “right in downtown Steubenville”, the impression is that no one is safe anywhere in the downtown or main area of town. This is not only misleading but borders on nothing more than sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism.

There are hundreds of people working in downtown Steubenville daily. There are the public buildings, stores, restaurants, banks and so on. There are no problems or dangers to those who come downtown to conduct business. The same is also true with regard to most of the residential areas of the city. They are safe and quiet with people peacefully living their lives. Steubenville has enough problems without the electronic news media amplifying them and creating a distorted view of reality. Could it be better. Of course, but so could a lot of other places.

If crime is going to be reported, as it will, at least have the decency to be specific as to where it occurs. Painting the city with a broad brush does no one any good, especially the hard-working business owners and workers trying to make a living.

John J. Mascio