Letter to the Editor: Insensitive Headline

A headline about a Pacific Palisades High School graduate who recently passed away "seemed shockingly cold" to one reader. As a result, Patch has decided to change it out of respect for the deceased, his friends and his family.

Editor's Note: As a journalist, you're charged with giving your readers as much information as applicable while writing as concisely as possible and removing yourself and your opinion from the story. In that formula, it's easy to appear insensitive toward the feelings of those actually involved in the story. It was not this journalist's intention to offend the good name of the deceased, but rather to paint the most accurate picture and to be inclusive of those who may not have known the deceased or his story.

was a person with many friends and a loving family. The people who shared his story with Patch were quick to stress how great a person he was. Angela Collins wrote to Patch stating that she thought the headline on the story containing "seemed shockingly cold." Where there is one person willing to stand up and voice their concern, there are a hundred people behind them of the same opinion. That's enough for this journalist; that's enough for me.    


Dear Patch,

As a concerned reader, I would just like to suggest that when referring to those that have been killed or have passed on, that there is some kind of sensitivity and respect shown. seemed shockingly cold and distant to the deceased. I'm sure the intention was not that, but there may be a way to offer your readers the same information in a more respectful, personal and gentle manner. Thank you for your consideration.

Patch then asked Collins where she lived, to which she responded:

I'm not a Brentwood/Pali local but grew up on the Westside, my husband works at UCLA and my children attend school in the local area, one being in high school.  I am always interested in the local and community news, and really enjoy the articles from Patch.

Angela Collins


Do you have an opinion about this or anything else? Email jared.morgan@patch.com.


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