Poor editorial judgement

The editorial decision (April 2, Budleigh Journal) to headline Becca Gliddon s non-story on a possible child abduction near Otterton is regrettable.

The editorial decision (April 2, Budleigh Journal) to headline Becca Gliddon's non-story on a possible child abduction near Otterton is regrettable. The only real interest in the piece (it transpires) lies in explaining the sudden police presence in 'sleepy' (Ms Gliddon's word) Otterton to those citizens who were sufficiently awake to notice. Beyond the village, the whole event might otherwise have passed quite unremarked. To this end, it might legitimately have merited inclusion on an inner page with a far less sensational headline.As reported, the facts seem to be that a child was seen in distress in an unusual location. An individual (known to the child?) stopped to help. Some public-spirited person felt justified in reporting this. Well and good. But was it not equally important to assist the child?Sadly, in the contemporary atmosphere, most adults will admit to thinking twice before going to the aid of a child in distress, no matter how well intentioned their actions or urgent the situation - for fear that their motives will be misinterpreted. Your story serves only to reinforce those highly regrettable anxieties, and as presented under a banner headline, albeit with inverted commas, represents at best poor judgement and at worst a cheap attempt to sell a few extra copies. Alan Weeks, The Old Post Office, Otterton.


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