My Last Newspaper

I was on my way to work one morning and as I passed by a newsstand I saw the huge, bold headline: Catholic Priest Sex Scandal. The priest’s picture was plastered across the entire front page.  He was a very popular priest and well known, since some newspapers had done human interest stories about him prior to that headline. Perhaps that was the reason for the press’s extra viciousness concerning this incident.


St. Nicolas Roman Catholic Cathedral by Jennifer Boyer used under CC License

A few weeks later I purchased a copy of the paper, wanting to see the box score from a Yankee game. As I flipped through the pages and scanned the headlines I saw something very disturbing on page 17.

In a small article, nestled among many other small articles that would constitute a page of clippings, was a follow-up story about the #priest.  Apparently, all charges against him were dropped.

An NYPD spokesman said the child involved had been prompted to tell a story because the parents were looking for a cash settlement. The police became suspicious when the child kept changing his story. Detectives questioned him for a statement three times, and not once did he ever give the same answer. When pressed, the parents admitted to prodding their child to make a false claim.

What a group of forthright, just people are journalists and #newspaper editors. Shouldn’t they have put that priest’s portrait on the front page again with a bold headline proclaiming his vindication? Yes, they should have. You know it and I know it. So how could the press not know it?


Earth Day by Deb Stgo used under CC License

I believe they knew the right thing to do. However, why should they run a story when there was probably something more sensational that day?  Also, why run a story that speaks of your own sensationalism and errors?

I think it’s sad. Have you ever seen anything similar?

Special Thanks to Don Charisma. His #blog Post “Do Journalists Tell the Truth” dredged up this memory.

8 thoughts on “My Last Newspaper

  1. Thanks Ernesto for the mention, and you make a very valid point … people like to shout very loudly when someone else does something wrong, but want it kept quiet when it’s their own wrong doing … This is life as you know my friend … my main point in my article was that virtually anything can be spun in the direction the story teller wants …GOOD BLOG 🙂 cheers DOn Charisma


  2. All the time! Not only is my newspaper and the press guilty of this but the newspaper is getting smaller and smaller. I know I’m off the subject but do you remember when Parade Magazine was really something? I used to love it and couldn’t wait for the Sunday edition to read it. Now Its an insult what they have done to the size and content of this once wonderful magazine. So don’t expect the content to be of any quality as well. They have to sell newspapers and no one told them that putting something worthwhile in will still get them readers–maybe even more.


    • I remember Parade Magazine well, t was always in the Sunday NY Daily News. However the incident above occurred around 2002 so I haven’t seen a paper since then.
      Although I’m not surprised. Thanks for your observations Shirley.


  3. Newspapers are an interesting topic. Today, at the gym, a youngish lady on an exercise bike was reading an actual newspaper. I was so surprised that I almost asked her, “Where did you find that?”

    Unfortunately, journalism as a business, has devolved the hosting opinion platforms. Fairness and accuracy no longer appear to be a part of the model. The lack of a full retraction in the story you cite, though unfortunate, is exemplary of how things work.

    Now, I happily live in an information desert, blissfully unaware of the state of Miley Cyrus’s love life or Kim Kardashian’s butt. I have found that what I really need to know to be an informed citizen I am able to seek out, though it requires some effort.

    Keep writing stories with a purpose. People do still read.


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