Thursday, July 23, 2009

Covering record pace of Manatee murders

Early yesterday morning, Metro Editor Marc Masferrer and reporter Robert Napper posted the gruesome news: Manatee County had its 22nd homicide of the year. And, as if any murder isn’t disturbing, this one was particularly so: The body had been dismembered and torched.

Napper updated the story online throughout the day on, and followed with this report today on Page 1A in the Herald.

Sad to say, the comments online have been predictably filled with trash talk. We despise commenters who react almost with glee that there has been so much violence in Manatee County. But rather than react to them, we choose to pursue this coverage despite them.

A 19-year-old and her unborn child were slain; a body is torched within view of one of our main thoroughfares. And that’s just in the past week. Regardless of who is to blame, these are victims whose lives went wrong somehow. In coming days, our reporters will continue to probe why these crimes are escalating.

If drugs are to blame, then we’d better declare a stronger war on drugs. If it's random violence with no common thread, then we still need to rally for safety and justice. This is our home –- and thugs cannot own it.

-- Joan


Anonymous said...

It is obvious that you as editor do not see the forest for the trees. To dismiss and despise commenters that react with glee? I'm sorry, but I've not seen that glee in the comments. What I have seen is a lot of racist or bigoted comments and a lot of vulgar words. Those comments are coming from just a few screen names. That, I despise. But most of the comments come from people that have something to add to the discussion. Your paper should not dismiss them out of hand. And also many of them really have a problem with your papers lack of coverage of gang problems and full description of perps. The gang problem is in my opinion, responsible for a lot of those recent murders. People, including your despised commenters are afraid of what is happening to their community. The good people that live in those high crime areas deserve to be gang free. Maybe, you should eliminate the comments section altogether.

scott said...

There is no doubt we have a problem in Manatee County,FL. With 22 homicides this year, along with other violent crimes, this one tops the charts. Our safety is a concern and what is the Manatee County Sheriff's office doing about it? It is sad to say, the comments online are alarming and insensitive. Is this how people around the Sarasota/Bradenton area are really like, shame on all of them. It adds insult to injury, they act like animals, I take that back, animals are better behaved. I will continue to follow and pay close attention to this story as well.

Anonymous said...

I see you have followed up with a good accounting of action by the sheriff's department. But it will take a daily watchdog to bring this community's safety back within comfort range. Is the Herald staffed to do this? You MUST be!

Autore said...

Violence in our county will continue to escalate. There is no doubt that the economy is a major factor causing people to do the unthinkable. Desperate people do desperate things in desperate times, that is a fact. Don't listen to the news our economy is not getting better in fact it is still going to get a lot worst. So be prepared.