Originally Published: May 3, 2018 6 a.m.
Last month someone called a local law enforcement agency making a claim that there was a bomb at a building in the quad-city area. The Daily Courier sent a reporter to the scene, to see what was happening.
The building was evacuated and a special team with a bomb-sniffing dog was brought in to investigate. It was determined the threat was not real.
Some of our readers have asked why The Daily Courier did not report on this, or has not done so with other false bomb threats over the years. Our answer is simple — because the caller would want the attention.
As the leading local news provider we strive to be prudent in our coverage decisions. Had we reported on the recent fake threat we would be giving the caller exactly what they wanted.
For this same reason, we generally refrain from showing photos of local vandalism, reporting them only with text and only when local law enforcement asks for the public’s help in locating the suspects.
The goal of these individuals is attention and disruption. We choose not to allow them any power from our reporting to achieve either.
Perhaps this same strategy would be beneficial for you as an individual when using social media. You might consider refraining from sharing a photo of local vandalism, or decide not to post comments about a false bomb threat. This philosophy can be applied to other forms of destructive efforts by threatening individuals, such as not spreading gossip, or not forwarding rumors that degrade, belittle or bully others.
We all can play a part in not giving these people power. Such power gives birth to terrorism, intimidation and fear. As a newspaper, and as a community, may we strive to be uniters, not dividers.