Newspaper Examines Its Story Decisions After Murder

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The top editor of the Star-News in Wilmington, N.C., says his paper was right to publish a story about a local college student being stalked by a former boyfriend, even though the boyfriend allegedly shot the student to death last week and the student’s mother had asked the paper not to run the story. The comment by Executive Editor Allen Parsons followed the Friday murder of Christen Marie Naujoks, 22, a student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Investigators believe she was shot to death by John Brian Peck, 28, a former UNCW student and her ex-boyfriend.

Peck, who was at large, is charged with first-degree murder. The Star-News had inquired about Peck at the university when Holly Naujoks contacted the paper. The woman said Peck had been stalking her daughter. The paper pursued a story about whether Peck had lied about a criminal conviction on his admission application. When the lie was confirmed, the school suspended Peck on May 27. The paper published a story about Peck on May 31, even after Mrs. Naujoks asked the Star-News not to. Four days later, Christen Naujoks was shot to death.

Link: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000526716

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