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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2006
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Pilot's past not relevant to crash

THE DECATUR DAILY:

In my opinion, the article regarding Tom Coggin's plane crash was written in very poor taste. Mr. Coggin's previous past was a matter of public record, but his death should not be tarnished by his past, and THE DECATUR DAILY, out of respect to his family, should not have allowed an article like this to be published on the front page. THE DECATUR DAILY is sort of like the city of Decatur, a comedy of errors.

My sincere condolences to the family of Tom Coggin.

Herb Tapscott

Hartselle

Infers 'just deserts' from wreck article

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I refer to your July 25 report of the plane crash death of Tom Coggin. This front page presentation suggests to me that the death of this man was his "just deserts" for past wrongdoings of 15 years ago, for which he has already paid his debt to society. Is not this tantamount to desecration of the dead?

We are all subject to the reality of the old saying, "be sure that the truth will find you out." I would like to see an apology to the family and community who still love Tom B. Coggin.

Lawson S. Lee

Athens

Article, not act alleged, hurt man's reputation

THE DECATUR DAILY:

In reading the July 25 DECATUR DAILY, I realized that you do not deal in news — you deal in defamation of character. Your reporting of the Rev. Grad Tanner made headlines only because he was a minister, not just one of the other 26 people arrested. You not only damaged a man, his family and his church, but also his many, many friends who know him, love him and stand by him.

Your paper is known for its negative and liberal take on all subjects with few exceptions. The only reason I take your paper is for the obits, the Wednesday recipes and Ronnie Thomas' articles. I can get the obits on the computer, and your recipes aren't nearly as good as the Birmingham News'. I plan to drop my subscription and recommend to all of Grad's friends and supporters to do the same.

Mitch Howell Coon

Hartselle

Restraint admirable in journalism

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I read THE DECATUR DAILY online wherever I am. I, like most of your captive readership, read THE DAILY for your coverage of local school and sports events and obituaries. For other news I rely on first-person observation, for it is my experience that much of your reporting is slanted and sensationalized.

With one swipe of the pen, THE DAILY often destroys careers, lives and memories. If you do so to increase more pulp fiction sales, then I challenge you to provide sales figures from those editions that run roughshod over the lives of many versus the editions in which you report only the pertinent facts in a non-biased, non sensational manner. We, your readership, would like to place our trust in THE DAILY as a trustworthy and compassionate source for all news.

Most of us live in the Tennessee Valley because we believe this is a better and safer place to live. As a news provider, your readership would like you to seek the higher road, the road nowadays less journalistically traveled. I am presently in Germany attending to an ill family member, so I am depending on you for the news from home. In at least three headline stories this past week, you have resorted to uncovering (i.e., six years, 20 years, and another) a person's past that has since been vindicated by better life choices. Whom did you serve with these punitive innuendoes? There was a time in America when sensitive reporting compromised neither the private, public, or national safety and security. Why doesn't THE DECATUR DAILY rise to that sort of journalistic integrity?

Recently one of the New York City papers blew the cover of an American agent, thus placing that paper in the absolute cellar of journalism. I would like to think we, in the Tennessee Valley, would never read this kind of shoddy news coverage, but this week and other times makes me, along with many others, wonder.

I believe THE DAILY aspires to long-lasting, substantive, and increased sales. I want this for my local news source, but I believe that THE DAILY would achieve this with reporting that reports pertinent facts to the present story. Restraint is an admirable quality in all endeavors. The journalistic higher ground leads to reader respect and trust. Those words have a nice ring, don't they?

E. Hodgen

Somerville

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