- BC Games
EDITORIAL: Dogs or kids?
There are many directions that reactions to stories we publish can go, some predictable, some not so much.
When we publish stories about health care issues —regardless of whether they tell a good story or bad — we will get reactions from all sides of the spectrum. Since health care is such a political hot potato in our system, the reactions often fall along those lines.
Health-care stories also induce passionate reactions from those who know how difficult it can be to work in the front lines of our hospitals and clinics.
All of the reactions, we like to believe, are helpful, if not in improving the system, then at least to allow people to vent, share their stories, blow off steam and look for some kind of support or provide a boost for those who work so hard in our health-care system.
Present a story about dogs on the attack and the reaction is somewhat predictable, too.
There have been many comments made about the story we presented on the front-page Thursday ('Pit bulls attacking'). The angry comments seem to come from those who want to defend pit bulls and say how irresponsible it was for us to single out the breed.
First, it's important to note the dogs in question are pit bulls and they have a history in the Hilliers area. If they were labs, or rottweilers or beagles we would have written the story and headline as such. There's an old saying about being specific in journalism: don't write bird if you can write duck; don't write duck if you can write mallard. One of the sources who told us what breed the alleged attackers are is a former kennel operator.
What we find disappointing is the focus of the anger about this story, the reason people are calling us all kinds of nasty names.
Let's forget for a moment the breed of these dogs. Why isn't the anger about the situation more focused on the safety concerns for children who walk in the area to get the bus to school? Or the toll on the livelihoods of farmers who are losing their stock?
Yes, we realize acts like those in Hilliers are not exclusive to one breed. And we understand that often it's an issue related to the owners, not the dogs. But seriously, is this an instance where defending a breed of dogs is appropriate?
— Editorial by John Harding