I am beginning to be dismayed by the sensational turn that the paper seems to be taking, most recently the coverage of the apprehension of John D. Williams, suspected of fatally shooting Somerset County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Eugene Cole, in the April 29 Maine Sunday Telegram.

While I understand that this is an important story, and the journalists did a fine job researching and reporting, the product seemed way over the top. This event was news, not an exciting adventure, and it started feeling voyeuristic to keep reading.

Particularly upsetting was the photo of Williams on Page A7, where someone had yanked his head up by his hair so we could get a good look at his misery. I felt that the person who held him, the photographer and the editors who chose to publish the photo in the Telegram were out of line. The widow of the slain officer had promised Williams that he would be treated with “dignity and respect.” As a community, we need to be the grown-ups. Catch and prosecute fully those who commit such terrible crimes, but let’s maintain our own humanity in the process.

I was also disturbed by the splashy front-page story April 8 of the two families who wanted custody of the same foster children with what seemed equal claims. I really didn’t finish reading the story, as it began to sound like a Jodi Picoult novel. I have no business that far inside others’ painful disputes.

I do appreciate the insightful pieces I have frequently encountered in the paper. I feel it is a rare privilege to have a local paper with such quality reporting. Please consider limiting the “splash factor” in favor of in-depth reporting on issues such as environmental, human rights and political concerns, which the paper has made its reputation on.

Christine Koch

South Portland


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