The wife of a popular Kingsport, Tenn., veterinarian recently died from injuries suffered in a traffic accident. The vet was charged with misdemeanor second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield in connection with the crash – and that angered many locals who blasted the Kingsport Times-News for simply reporting that news.
Some reader comments:
* “I am still in shock that Times News decided to run this story 2 hours before visitation.”
* “I’m calling Kingsport Times News out to publicly apologize for the complete disrespect of this family!”
* “If the Kingsport Times News were a car they’d be an AMC Pacer”
* “boycott times news and police”
There was one voice of reason, though, who told the angry Facebook commenters: “Y’all can’t get mad at the newspaper for doing their job. … It’s sad and unfortunate that this happened, yes. I don’t deny that. But you can’t take it out on the newspapers.”
I asked Times-News reporter Wes Bunch about the reaction to his story, and he wrote:
We get some objections here and there based on a particular story, but I’ve been reporting here since 2008 and this is the first reaction like this I’ve seen an article get (and that includes reporting on a couple of local pastors/priests charged with sex-related crimes).
My editors got several phone calls last week, and I had a few voicemails from angry readers. Most of the backlash I received was through comments on the story and social media, email (someone said my mom should be ashamed of my insensitivity or something like that) and on my work Facebook page.
I definitely expected people to express some outrage over Mr. Straley being charged in Georgia, I just didn’t expect a lot of it to be directed at the paper’s coverage.
* Kingsport veterinarian charged after crash kills wife (timesnews.net)
* Facebook commenters blast the paper for covering the crash and charges (facebook.com)