WLNI news ran a story on air Friday afternoon — and posted it on our website and Facebook page — with an uncle of murder victim Raymond Wood in which he confirmed many of the details that have been rumored all week. We also ran a sound bite in which he said many of the things said about Raymond’s life were not truthful and were very hurtful to the family — and that Raymond was a good person. Several hours later, another family member contacted us and requested that we no longer air or show the story because it was causing them great pain. Even though the family member we interviewed had voluntarily spoken with us, WLNI agreed to withdraw the story in order to honor a grieving family’s wishes.
We have been aware of many of the circumstances believed to surround Raymond Wood’s death all week, and until today, we have made conscious efforts, both on the Morning Line program and in newscasts, to avoid airing any unsubstantiated rumors. We did feel, however, that when a relative as close to an uncle voluntarily spelled out in certain terms what occurred the night of the murder, and that it corroborated what many people in the community had been hearing for days, that we could then present the story as useful information. For reasons explained above, however, we later changed that decision.
News decisions are sometimes difficult with conflicting factors in play; we want you to know what we did and why so you can form your own conclusions as to the wisdom, or lack of it, in either decision. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Facebook page viewers are free, of course, to be part of the conversation.
Evan Jones, News Director