Commentary: Breaking News Stories

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By Kevin Hunsperger

WSIL -- It seems in recent weeks, I've had to defend the choices we make here in the news department when it comes to the stories we bring to you.


The most recent example of this happened this week in the days following a recent deadly car crash on Route 13 in Carterville.
     
Route 13, one of the busiest highways in southern Illinois was closed for hours as a result. We had the story that evening on News 3 at 10 as breaking news.  We continued to follow the story the next morning right here.
     
One viewer suggested we hold off on reporting that news for 12 to 18 hours, arguing that we would have all the details by then and cut down on the internet gossip.
     
I respectfully disagree with that line of thinking  As a news operation, it's our responsibility to inform the public that a major roadway has been closed and why.  Waiting a half a day to do that would be negligent.

The viewer also said when we report on road closures, boil water orders, or crimes, we're doing the work of other agencies. I don't know how else these agencies would get the word out to the masses if not for the media.

One thing we did agree on is the misuse of social media by the people who follow it.  Many times when a story is posted and details are still coming in, the rumor mill and gossiping begins.
     
We do our best to monitor and delete these comments. One suggestion is to prevent people from being able to comment on stories. It is an option we will certainly look in to.
     
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