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Northwest Indiana








Editor in Chief David P. Funk responds to feedback from last week's article about Seth Thomas

Issue date: 10/9/06 Section: Opinion

We've received a great deal of feedback on News Editor Brandon Thomas' article in the Oct. 2 issue of The Chronicle about the celebration of Seth Thomas' life.

Brandon's story has been called a number of things in the past week, including defamatory and disrespectful. It's been brought to our attention that some instructors have devoted entire class periods to debate about the article's, and Brandon's, ethics. It has even been suggested that Brandon step down or be relieved of his duties as news editor. In particular, the mentioning of an account shared by a friend about urinating on a table raised eyebrows.

The Chronicle offers its most sincere apologies to anyone offended, as I do as editor in chief. We've contacted some of those close to Seth, including his mother, to express our regret for anything they've seen as distasteful about the story. It was important to her that we explain it was the opinion of his friends that he "broke into buildings to take pictures" and "urinating on tables" was not an everyday occurrence. Seth's girlfriend, Audrey Castaneda, said she was not offended by the article.

I would like to clarify some things about the article.

It was not an obituary. In accordance with his wishes, a "celebration of life" was held in place of a wake for Seth. It was Brandon's job to report on that event. The event was supposed to be a happy one and friends and family shared memories of the good times they remembered with Seth. One of his friends told a story about urinating on a table. Brandon was only reporting that. While some may have been offended by the sharing of that story, it is not the job of a journalist to skew how Seth's friends and family will remember him. Though some parts of the article may have needed more clarification, I stand by the decision to run the article. I will not ask Brandon to step down and I certainly will not be firing him.

As editor in chief, I take full responsibility for any damage caused. Anyone caring to discuss this issue any further should contact me directly.

David P. Funk
Editor in Chief
[email protected]