Public Editor

Child abuse coverage troubling to some readers

I heard from a number of readers who were highly critical of The Star’s decision to run on Page 1A of today’s paper a story about charges of child abuse, aggravated assault and aggravated battery against Michael A. Jones.

Several particularly disapproved that the headline read, “Boy’s body allegedly was fed to pigs.”

“That is so horrible,” emailed one. “I saw a pic of this darling little boy on TV. There surely is a better way to mark his tragic, cruel passing than this headline.”

“How bout one paragraph, back page?” wrote another.

Others didn’t necessarily criticize that The Star ran the story, but wished the detail about the pigs — which has been widely reported elsewhere — hadn’t been included, or had been downplayed.

I’m sure there would have been a negative reaction from a different cohort had The Star chosen not to run the story on the cover, or at all, and that would too be understandable.

Regardless of how it was played, this is a bit of news that nobody is comfortable knowing about.