Media on the stories told
from JonBenet's America

          At the main daily newspaper in Boulder, the editor has watched coverage of the Ramsey murder with increasing alarm.
           Barrie Hartman - Editor, Daily Camera: One of the main feelings we've had in the news business is that there is too many stories - If the tabloids report it and we feel that we have to report it and that has caused some problems and JonBenet was a good example of that. I think a lot of the information the tabloids had, whether it was right or wrong, became fact because the rest of us picked it up.
           Julie Hayden: This is one of the things I've thought about. I've thought about,  is this fair - Is what I'm doing right or wrong - And I will admit there have been times when I have felt bad and I have thought, this is not fair. This is not fair the way we're handling the whole thing.
           Hartman: We're looking at ourselves - We've want to be believed - We think the most important thing  for our readers is believability. If we give that up, we sacrifice that for any one story, it hurts us.
           Julie Hayden: I think we do what we can, at least I know sometimes I sort of put the brakes on and say  no we're not going to go with that, we're not going to report that. But there are a lot of pressures and somebody else reports it and my boss turns around and looks at me and says, 'how come we don't  have that?' If people don't watch my newscasts then I lose my job, the station folds, and we all go hungry.
           Man: There is concern on all sides of the Ramsey case about the impact of these pressures. And about the use law enforcement made of the media through leaks which journalists repeated unchecked.  Even those helping Boulder's DA decide what should happen, like neighboring DA Bob Grant, believe justice itself is at risk.
           Bob Grant: I think it's eroded  by the way the  journalistic ethics have been eroded - public consumption of mass media has made people come to some conclusion about a particular criminal case without having heard evidence in court. I think that is corrupted.
Kurtis: Information that comes to the press from outside an "official source" in a "leak" can be useful. It is the lifeblood of investigative programs like this. But if the leaks aren't true, they can cause great harm. An astounding number of media outlets will use that bit of information in many ways. Talk shows, columnists, newscasts, tabloids . The effect of this is the "media indictment", made without ever having to verify the source of the leak or its truth. We have presented the JonBenét case from the Ramseys' point of view. Does it mean they should or should not be indicted? We don't know. A grand jury will soon answer that. But they have already been indicted and convicted in the media. If they are now found innocent, how will they get their reputation back?

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