The Bryan Times,

I wish to ask questions about an article that appeared on page C3 of the June 16, 2021, edition of The Bryan Times. The article was entitled “AP will no longer name suspects in minor crimes.” The first paragraph of the article read, "The Associated Press said Tuesday it will no longer run the names of people charged with minor crimes, out of concern that such stories can have along, damaging afterlife on the Internet that can make it hard for individuals to move on with their lives.”

Just what is the definition of a “minor” crime? Who gets to make that distinction? AP? Is so, why does AP get to make that call? AP is not a governmental agency. AP has not been elected by the people to make that decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in a “free press.” But I expect a “free press” to report ALL available, impartial and pertinent information on the specific topic of any factual article they print or broadcast. To do otherwise is a great disservice to the community‚ whether that community be local, national or even global. If the alleged perpetrator(s) have the charge(s) against them dismissed in some manner, that should be reported as well.

At a quick glance, this new AP policy appears designed to provide asocial individuals a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Sorry, but I believe ALL actions have consequences. Those consequences may be immediate, or they could be delayed for years to come. As a TV detective often said, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

(Editor’s Note: The AP, in a directive sent to its journalists across the United States, said it will no longer name suspects or publish images of them in short stories about misdemeanors when there is little chance that the agency will cover the case beyond the initial arrest. The The Bryan Times is not affected by and will not follow this change in AP policy. The Bryan Times will continue to publish as much information as allowed under law from law enforcement, including names of those adults charged with misdemeanors).

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