Columbus Dispatch editor Benjamin Marrison complains that some police departments are “less then forthcoming” when asked by the news media if any newsworthy event have occurred. He lists several recent deaths that authorities failed to report, such as the fatal shooting of a woman in a hotel room. The newspaper must rely on law enforcement to inform us that there is news when we call,and to provide the details.
Solving crimes is more important than talking about them, but those two things sometimes go hand in hand: Getting information out to the public helps police crack cases by prompting tips. Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner acknowledged that, saying, “The media and the public are great partners.” Says Marrison: “We don’t expect to be spoon-fed the news. We work hard every day to gather it and make good-faith efforts to ask police what is going on and follow up on tips and scanner broadcasts. But we can’t do our job of keeping you informed unless police do theirs, and providing information is part of it.”