Editor Phones Police After Suspect Makes Contact; ‘Easy Call’


Managing Editor Denny Herzog of the Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel details “one of the strangest three days in the annals of The Daily Sentinel newsroom” that began when a “slightly deranged former air traffic controller” suspected in planting crude bombs at the homes of five former colleagues called the newspaper.

Reporter Gary Harmon arranged a rendezvous in Provo, Utah, with the suspect, Robert Burke. It became moot when authorities arrested him before the meeting. Herzog wrote, “We had a duty to be a good corporate citizen and alert authorities to what we knew. That would make us part of the story. That's a position we don't like to be in. We report the news. We don't make the news. And way back in journalism school they taught us that it's the cops' job to catch the bad guys, not ours. But in the real world, it was an easy call to make.”

Link: http://www.gjsentinel.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/2006/04/08/4_9_Burke_column.html

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