Journalists Need to Rely On Other Sources Besides Facebook to Get the Scoop sign now

The Chronicle Herald
1650 Argyle St., P.O. Box 610, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T2

Dear Editor-in-Chief:

This is a formal petition to protest the article printed on the front page of your newspaper on Monday, January 14, 2008 entitled "Gay marriage pioneers break up", written by Sherri Borden Colley. We feel that Ms. Borden Colley breeched some fundamental journalistic ethics when investigating and reporting this story. Kim Vance and Sam Meehan did not wish to be interviewed for this article, yet Ms. Borden Colley still pressed on with a story. She went onto the popular social networking site Facebook and copied personal quotations that Ms. Vance had enabled trusted friends and family to view. This was not on a public forum or group, but rather became public incidentally when one such trusted friend left a heart-felt response. Ms. Borden Colley was an acquaintance of this friend and took it upon herself to "lurk" and use this information when Ms. Vance and Ms. Meehan would not give her the story she wanted.

We are dismayed at the lack of integrity that a reporter for The Chronicle Herald has displayed. There seems to be absolutely no respect for a person's privacy, and while it is a reporter's job to investigate, they are supposed to do so in a resourceful yet tactful way. Ms. Vance's words were taken out of context. They were of a private and personal nature and were never intended to be printed in the newspaper. It's especially disheartening to see a front page article based around a few words off of an internet page. Is that truly newsworthy? It's nothing more than stealing someone's diary and posting several lines and forming conclusions from that. Ms. Borden Colley was out of line in writing the article in the way that she chose to, and we hope some sort of retributive justice will be served.

We hope this petition will serve as both a direct complaint and to raise awareness to both reader and reporter alike. Matters involving the internet and privacy should not be taken lightly and perhaps journalists like Ms. Borden Colley will be more prudent while obtaining information in the future.



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Deann SchwartzBy:
City LifeIn:
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The Chronicle Herald

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