Now open for commenting

It’s kind of exciting to see the commenting feature starting to take off on the Register’s Web site, even though we are so depressingly behind the curve in terms of Web-based news. And the comments on a story this week about a prostitution sting – in which we, amazingly, did the police department’s bidding and ran the names and photos of 12 men charged with patronizing a prostitute, a misdemeanor – actually included a viable debate on the issue. I’ve never been able to totally figure out my feelings on how papers report on crimes in general, but I definitely draw the line at front-page stories about a misdemeanor crime. There’s always a balance between what’s news and what’s mere sensationalism – and how we report the news without violating the “innocent until proven guilty” principle – and this one jumped right over that line. By comparison, the New Haven Independent covered the story without the names and photos. As one commenter said, albeit ungrammatically, “prostitution is the least of new havens worries.”

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