innocent....but already convicted

Apr 29, 2013 -- 11:37am

Through the years, I've had quite a few listeners ask me why we report the arrest of someone who hasn't been found guilty yet. Especially when that arrest was brought about by the testimony of another person that may or may not be factual. The answer is simple: because the arrest IS news...and to NOT report it would be censoring the news. That's why reporters came up with words like "allegedly" they can report the news, but safeguard themselves from lawsuits if the person turns out to be innocent. The problem is, once the suspect's name and mughot makes the paper or websites, viewers or listeners pretty much convict the person in their minds. They've been arrested - they MUST be guilty. But, there have been 2 cases that made headlines recently where people have been charged with crimes, and the charges have been subsequently dropped. One had an 80+-year old couple that was charged with kidnapping their great-grandchild...while the other one was a conway woman who was charged with child abuse after spanking her 7-year old boy. Investigations showed that both cases didn't have merit to go forward and charges were dropped...however, the retractions don't make as much splash as the original story, and the reputations of the 3 people charged in those 2 cases is already ruined. Whose fault is that? The media for printing a true story? The law for arresting someone before all the facts are out? The public, for believing people are guilty until proven innocent? I'm going to stick up for the media on this one. Maybe you think differently. 

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