Originally created 12/22/99

Hits stories on disappearance

How ironic that the Dec. 14 front page contained a story about ethics in Augusta. The headline on that same day introduced the story which saw The Chronicle go to such an ethical low.

Having been a subscriber for almost eight years and having seen such quality journalism on so many occasions, I was very disappointed to see how staff writer Greg Rickabaugh handled the stories (Dec. 14 and 15) about the deaths of Andy and Kimberly Medlock. I am very disappointed with the editors and managers for printing a story which illustrates tabloid journalism at its worst.

Who called whom what name; who bickered with whom on how many occasions; how many times law enforcement officials have been to the home -- does The Chronicle now consider this to be news vital to the readers of the Central Savannah River Area? To print such sensational details, to put on the front page a photograph of a wife and mother overwhelmed by tragedy and grief, to appeal so blatantly to the public's desire for "dirt" -- -- these methods lack any integrity or compassion. If one focuses on the Medlock family, the stories represent gross insensitivity, pouring salt in wounds which are already incredibly painful for those involved.

At its best, journalism strengthens a community and those who live there. These stories did precisely the opposite. The Chronicle should print an apology to the Medlock family and guard against such irresponsible and callous reporting in the future.

Tony Hopkins, Edgefield


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