My job is very different than it was a year ago.
With my recent switch from the city beat to the crime and education beat, I've gone through a whole new learning curve over the last month or so, including my baptism-by-fire experience of writing about the Kruse trial.
This change has also represented a shift in perspective for me. It's important for us to cover city council, because as the Fourth Estate, the press must hold elected officials accountable. But reporting on crime also matters.
The public deserves to know about crime in the community. The Globe doesn't write about crime in an effort to foster gossip or to shame anyone who is involved in a crime. This is why you'll find that we don't write stories about unsavory behavior that didn't result in an arrest or in criminal charges. But public safety is a communal effort, and it only works if everyone is informed.
We don't cover crime because we have a specific opinion about a crime or behavior — by writing about a criminal case, The Globe is not making a statement about whether or not an act should be illegal, just that it is. It is my hope that if you read in The Globe about a crime someone is accused of, and you think the law should be different, then you'll exercise your First Amendment right and contact your representatives.
It is not the role of a newspaper to pronounce someone guilty of a crime. We are neither judge nor jury, simply an observer. It's important to remember that when a person is arrested and charged with a crime, the law still views that person as innocent. (God bless America.) The defendant may be presumed guilty either by a plea petition or by adjudication by a judge or a jury, but until one of those things happens, a criminal charge is merely an accusation. The Globe tries to follow up on each arrest we report on so the public is aware of the results of the court proceedings.
Each aspect of crime reporting is important, but my ultimate goal is for justice to get its due. I know there are victims of unreported crimes in this community. I hope that by reading the crime beat, you are able to see that abusers can be convicted, that wrongs can be righted and that peace can be found. Justice is possible. I see it all the time. I'll try my best to report on it, without sensation or exaggeration.
Thanks for staying informed on the issues that affect our community. May we all work together to ensure safety and peace among us.