The Greensboro, N.C. News & Record will only name crime victims if “there is a compelling reason to do so,” according to an e-mail to staffers from the newspaper’s editor, Jeff Gauger, published by Jim Romenesko.
Gauger noted that there isn’t a reason to name victims in “crime briefs.” “If we’ve deemed a crime story worthy of only three paragraphs, then by definition the facts don’t merit identifying the victims,” he wrote.
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Gauger explained that the newspaper isn’t against naming victims, but that reporters ought to “pause and think” before doing so. Romenesko added that Gauger told him the newspaper recently unnecessarily identified victims in a brief report, leading to the guidance on victim identification.