I appreciate your article about the plea of Arik Housley that newspeople not publicize the murderer of his daughter ("From the editor: Keeping the focus where it belongs," Jan. 6). I have to say that I am far more in agreement with his point of view than with yours.
With almost 60 years in the world of journalism and its peripheries, I know that it is possible -- even easy -- to include all the relevant facts you detail without ever mentioning proper names of the miscreant or his family. It merely takes a bit of thoughtfulness on the part of the writer.
I think it's totally possible to include all that relevant information without using names.
We all know there are a good many people who find any public mention of their name - good, bad or indifferent - a validation of their being. Look for example at the man now president of our country; his name in the media is unmitigated upper for him. Printing or airing his name is like giving a dose of heroin to an addict. The same is undoubtedly true of many of the miscreants who kill or deliberately maim or are responsible for other unspeakable deeds.
Yes, we need to make every attempt to try to find the reasons, and make those known in hope of preventing the same misfortune to befall others. But every attempt should be made to avoid feeding their sick egos. It rarely is of any real value to make known the identities of family members and associates.
Serious consideration of what the writer is aiming to accomplish should outweigh the easy way of adding impact by using names.