Saturday, January 05, 2019
I am not apologizing for Vaden case coverage, not using rape in a headline and this week's top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts
I don't remember her exact words, but she was upset that I described what the Joplin man is accusef of doing as "having sex" with the child.
That was not having sex, she said, "it was rape."
My first reaction was irritation. I did not look at it as using some kind of euphemism for what the man was accused of doing. Anyone who saw that headline had to be sickened by what the man allegedly did. Using the phrase "having sex" did not make it seem like it was all right or that the child had a choice.
My second thought was self-pitying, something to the effect of "Why is she criticizing me? I am the one who brings these stories to the public's attention and lets people know that this kind of horrible activity is taking place in our community."
After I stopped being so full of myself, I kept thinking about it and realized she had a point. Though the man was not charged with rape, which was the reason I did not use the term, that is obviously what it was if it took place the way investigators claim.
I also was able to find a couple of instances where I used the term rape in a headline when that was not the official charge.
I did not come to any conclusions about what I will do the next time this situation presents itself, but I promise to give it careful consideration.
The one thing I do not want to do is to somehow come across as saying this kind of act is not vile and reprehensible.
The end of the Jalen Vaden case
This week marked the end of the Jalen Vaden case with Vaden pleading guilty to felony child abuse in connection with the December 1, 2017 death of three-year-old Jayda Kyle of Carl Junction.
The comments have not stopped yet; it may be a long time before they do, and as I expected, a few people who have been critical of my coverage from the start wanted to know when I was going to issue an apology to Jayda Kyle's mother.
The simple answer- there will be no apology.
I haven't quite figured out what it is I am supposed to be apologizing for. My reporting consisted for the most part of the following:
-I offered updates when new filings were made in Jasper County Circuit Court
-When I came across documents that were connected to the case but were not in court files, such as Vaden's letter to Jayda Kyle's father and the Children's Division report, I verified that they were legitimate before I reported on them.
-I covered hearings and a press conference in person.
-I offered coverage of the efforts that were made to cause problems
I never offered any comments on Vaden's guilt or innocence, primarily because I did not have any knowledge of what happened other than the information that was provided in the probable cause statement, which was printed in its entirety on the Turner Report.
I posted comments that were critical of my coverage, and in one case i allowed one critic of my writing on this case an entire post to tear into me and I did not change a word nor did I try to dilute it with my own response.
I thoroughly realize that people who did not like my coverage are never going to change their minds. If I spent too much time worrying about whether people like what I do, I would never be posting anything that was worth posting.
Critic says I stopped covering local news
A Turner Report commenter was not happy with my new feature in which I take some of the wild comments that are left on the Facebook pages of Joplin and Springfield media outlets and respond to them.
The reader said at one time subscribed to the Turner Report but no longer did because I did not have anywhere near as much local news as I used to have. I am too interested in national news.
I question whether this man was ever a subscriber. He reminds me of the ones who write in and say they used to think I did a good job but they had changed their minds about me over one story or another.
If every person who claims to have subscribed to the Turner Report, but quit it, had actually subscribed, my bottom line would be much, much better than it is.
My guess is those people want to create the impression that people are abandoning the Turner Report.
On the off chance that the man really was a subscriber, allow me to answer his complaint.
Not only have I not cut down on the amount of local news in the Turner Report/Inside Joplin blogs over the past few months, but the blogs are offering more local news than ever before- more investigative reporting, far more information on crime and the courts, more extensive coverage of obituaries of area people and those who have connections to this area, more records coverage, and i will continue the expansion of what I am offering in 2019.
The Turner Report has always covered politics on the local, state and national levels and will continue to do so. I am amused by some of the comments on the local and area Facebook pages (and frightened by the ignorance of some of them). I would be reading them anyway. The only difference is I can share my thoughts about them, likely amusing the people who agree with my political views and irritating those who do not.
One thing I have always done is offer complete columns by people on all sides of the political spectrum, unedited.
The Turner Report offers news and commentary. It has been advertised that way for more than 15 years. I do not plan on changing my approach.
I also explain what I do. You may not agree with my explanation, but you know where I am coming from.
And when I make mistakes, I acknowledge them.
If you appreciate the work I do, you can subscribe or make a contribution in any amount at the PayPal buttons below or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO.
It is perfectly all right if you do not want to subscribe or make a contribution, but please don't tell me you subscribed and quit or that I used to be good but at some point I went astray.
I work hard at what I do and I enjoy doing it.
The links to this week's top Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries posts are below the PayPal buttons.
The Turner Report
1. Jalen Vaden pleads guilty to felony child abuse, sentenced to 22 years, murder charge dropped
2. Jalen Vaden issues statement
3. March 26 trial set for Carthage man charged with DWI in crash that killed Nichole Sawyer
4. League City, Texas settles Mark Rohr lawsuit
5. Joplin man expected to plead guilty Monday to raping, sodomizing 12-year-old girl
6. Twenty-five years ago today, Douglas Ryan Ringler, 8, Carthage, brutally murdered
7. Joplin man accused of having sex with four-year-old, making videos, ordered held without bond
8. Cleaver: More than 12,000 Missourians without pay being held hostage by Trump demands for wall
9. Billy Long tweet: Mitt Romney is a pathetic loser
10. Jason Smith ripa into Pelosi, Democrats
1. Joplin Police Department Arrests December 28-January 2
2. Joplin Police investigating second person to be struck, killed by train in 10 days
3. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions
4. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests
5. Highway Patrol Arrests January 4-5
6. Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests
7. Newton County Dissolution of Marriage Petition
8. Carthage woman killed in collision on 171
9. Joplin Police release name of man killed in train-pedestrian accident
10. Galena Police search warrant leads to six arrests, confiscation of meth
Inside Joplin Obituaries
1. Jaxon Buerge
2. Mary Lyon
3. Kristen Cole
4. Mary Potts
5. William Schwab
6. Larry Bates
7. Charles Emmert
8. Larry Ball
9. Charley Vandergriff
10. Cecil Clevenger