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From The Editor's Desk: Some tough calls, and not-so-tough calls

We had a couple of interesting calls, editorially speaking, at GuelphToday in the past week
20210831 accident ts
A Guelph police officer takes photos of a motorcycle involved in a serious collision at the intersection of Victoria Road and Woodlawn Road (note: licence plate intentionally blurred).

We had a couple of interesting calls, editorially speaking, at GuelphToday in the past week.

As editor there are constant decisions that have to be made during the course of the day, but every now and then they carry more weight than usual.

The first came following a serious collision between an e-bike and a car on Victoria Road.

I arrived at the location and took some photos shortly after the badly-injured e-bike rider was taken to hospital.

As a journalist, I took photos of the scene that showed the damage and seriousness of the crash.

Upon preparing to post them to our site, I noticed the full licence plate of the e-bike was clearly visible. Which posed a moral problem.

In newspaper days, it would take hours for the information to get out to the public, with those close to someone injured in an accident almost certain to have been notified by police.

In internet days, the information is posted almost immediately, and I didn’t want a family member finding out through our site that their loved one was seriously injured. So the decision was made to blur the licence plate number.

Altering photos is never done lightly in the news business and if they are altered in any way it is made clear that was done.

I’m a purist, but also a realist, and old school rules don’t always work in new school ways.

The second matter involved racist graffiti left on two cars in the Exhibition Park neighbourhood.

One of the photos of the cars showed half of the racist word (the other half was obscured by a rag).

In no way, shape or form do I see a scenario that word would ever appear on GuelphToday.

- Tony Saxon

We didn’t use the photo and we didn’t use the word in the story.

That was an easy call.