Letters: ‘Panga Attack’ was irresponsible reporting

I felt I should voice my opinion on your front page story regarding the Loxley Estate incident (Panga attack on young family, Courier January 6).
I do not believe that your paper has been responsible with this story for a number of reasons. You have dramatized this incident in an extreme manner, which will have undoubtedly caused severe damage to this area, and particularly so, over the Christmas holidays when so many people are in our area and may have been considered investing.
Whilst this was unquestionably a nasty incident, by labeling it “Panga Attack” and positioning it on the front page, you have not only dramatized the story but also potentially hurt the efforts of both the police and local security in dealing with it. (I would imagine the developers were instructed not to comment, so as to not potentially hamper efforts of the investigation).
Perhaps it would have been more responsible to wait for all the facts and to check the story. What you have in fact reported is not, it would seem, completely accurate. For example I believe the injuries that were sustained were in fact not as severe as you reported.
I am not suggesting that incidents like this should not be reported but there is surely a responsible manner in which this should be done.
ADAM WATSON
Wild Geese Developments
Sheffield
The facts are 100% correct, according to the family, who are well-respected in the area and we take them as a reliable source. The couple was attacked in their home by five men armed with pangas, knives and screwdrivers, tied up and beaten. The woman was hit with a panga, the man cut with a knife. Their belongings were stolen. If you know of any verified untruths in the story (not hearsay), I invite you to share them.
You question why we labelled it “panga attack”. Would you prefer that we say “Couple host uninvited guests” and bury it on Page 17? Would that be responsible reporting? I don’t believe reporting the facts would hinder a police investigation and I am certain the police would agree.
Our role is to keep the community informed to the best of our ability, even of inconvenient truths – Editor.

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