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Questions about:

Atlanta Olympics Bombing

Thu, 24 Sep 1998

Answer from Carla

From: "Luis Dediego" To: "Chikako Takada"

Dear Chikako:
I am sending you a summary of the case and my opinion about it.
A bomb explodes in a park during the past Olympic Games in Atlanta. Fear grips the city. Richard Jerrell, a 33 years-old security guard tried to warn people away just before the bomb went off. At the Atlanta Journal Constitution an anonimous source leaks the name of the FBI's prime suspect. Should you print his name? Someone says: Don't name him yet. He is not even under arrest. We aren't sure. But the newspaper names the suspect: He is Richard Jerrel, the same man who had warned people away just before the bomb went off and since that moment had been seen as a hero. Then, the new is published. During 88 days the Journal accuse this suspect by the FBI to be just the profile of a bomber.
Richard Jerrell feels himsel all along 88 days as a hunted man without fame nor honour. But one day, the 89th, the FBI cleared Richard from all accusation or suspicion in the case, and apologized. Had been a big mistake.
But the Journal did not apologized. They thought had been their duty to attack this suspect man -not guilty- all along 88 days.
It seems that ethics is not the strong line in Journalism, at least in this case. All the good they can do and have done, it is also true that in some occasions Journalism can kill people too, in his fame, his honour, his privacy. . . , and also phisically, when they lie or reveal what they shouldn't.
Luis de Diego