6. The decision-making point

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There was a broad consensus in the newsroom that the story contained a strong public interest. Still, the newsroom was under pressure from the police to keep the story under wraps, and the family couldn’t be reached for comment. It became evident that the reporters involved had uncovered all the information they were likely to receive.

Ultimately, for the reporters and editors involved in the decision that day, the question boiled down to: how do we weigh the privacy of this officer as a person, and respect for his grieving family, against the public interest in the violent death of a police officer while on duty?

According to the Spectator’s ethics code, the paper would not normally report on suicide. Did this case warrant a story? And if so, what should that story look like?

As evening closed in on a long day of conversations, Clairmont and her superiors had to make a decision about how exactly they were going to proceed.

Next: Epilogue

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