Considering what the public ‘needs to know’
To the Editor:
A recent editorial decision at a local daily newspaper to release detailed information surrounding that terrible day, Dec. 14 has raised conflicting questions about the public’s “Need to Know,” and having the parents of the victims relive the ordeal that horrific day once again.
The agony of having to go through it the first time because of fate entering our lives is bad enough, but to do it again… and then, again raises the question: “Why again”? What more must I Need to Know? Know what?
No one disputes the concept of the public’s “need to know” since that tenet is critical to a democracy. Yet in this instance, how does this Need to Know help in this situation? What more must be known by the public? Certainly not the details. These details are best left to those experts and investigators who really “need to know” to properly resolve this event.
I believe there are many others like me who say “enough.” I’m sure this Thanksgiving Day there were many conversations around the dinner table concerning Newtown. I already know enough to understand that a tragedy of epoch proportion has taken place and that there are many grieving families. Knowing more details will not add one wit to my understanding of that fateful and dreadful day.
This need to know will not help healing and closure to naturally occur. Anyone who has lost a child under any circumstance feels and understands that time is truly the great healer. To keep picking at that healing sore only re-opens the emotional wound so healing can’t ever take place. Not a good place for any person to be, especially those grieving families of Newtown.
As a citizen, I expect any newspaper to keep the public informed in a balanced and neutral way so we can make informed decisions, including the “need to know.” However, when a need to know story adds heat but no light, the answer is clear; it is not needed. Further, when that story overlooks nor takes into account the public service of allowing emotional healing to take place, that need to know now becomes a “not a need to know.” The editors need to consider that.