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Making it Clear

By: Lauren Keeling
By: Lauren Keeling

When is the right time to make a clarification? In this week's blog, Lauren Keeling tells you why sometimes a connection made in a news story isn't meant to make things worse....it's meant to make things clearer -- and to clear names.

Sometimes, the only way to clear up confusion and stop rumors, is to draw a connection between two stories in the news.

It happens every once in a while, and sometimes, like it did on Wednesday, the decision to do so is a hard one because of the story content.

A car accident on Latrobe Street Wednesday night knocked out power to dozens of residents. The driver of the vehicle took out a power pole and ran his car into a house. Officers say he fell asleep. No foul play, no alcohol.  just an accident.  While this in itself is certainly a story, when police named the driver, the story became a little more interesting

Daniel Banales was the driver. A recognizable name, as of late. After posting that story online, I IMMEDIATELY got three or four emails saying this man was the one accused of killing his mother in a trailer fire. The very first comment left on the webchannel echoed that incorrect belief. With several people thinking he was someone else, at that point, my job was to clarify that this Banales was NOT the one facing charges in connection with that fire.

So I did just that on the website.  I even consulted Roger Sheppard, our general manager, and he agreed the clarification needed to be made.   And now, according the some web comments, folks think that was the wrong thing to do.

As a side note, my general rule of thumb is that if one person emails me with incorrect information like that, I see it as a single situation...not something that necessarily needs to be clarified.  However, if two or more email or call me...telling me the same or similar wrong information, I personally think a clarification needs to be made in an effort to keep the unaccused from being treated unfairly.

Now, do I think Daniel Banales should forever be connected to his brother and what he is accused of? Absolutely not. Do I think anytime his name is brought up, his brother's should be too? And vice versa? No.

Do I think Daniel Banales deserves to be treated fairly and to have it made clear that he is only the brother of the man that most folks were thinking of when they heard the last name? Certainly.  He deserves a fair shake.

I would hope that if another Lauren Keeling got arrested for something horrible...someone would clarify that it wasn't me...no matter what the relation was.

Agree? Let me know. Disagree? I want to hear that too. The only way to grow in this business, and serve YOU better, is by knowing what you think...and by clarifying everything we can.

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