While I love living in a small town, there is one aspect of small town life that really gets under my skin. The local small town newspapers are crossing a line when they print personal information about anyone involved in an altercation with the law - even if the person in question is not at fault.
Each day in our local paper, I see not only the names and towns of people who have been involved in traffic accidents, domestic disturbances, or other incidents involving law enforcement, but also listed are their street addresses and their ages.
Maybe this is some kind of a potential deterrent to would-be criminals? Drive drunk and we'll print your name in the paper. Hit your wife and all your neighbors will know about it. But is the newspaper crossing a privacy line?
Several years ago, my mother-in-law, who lives in a small town in Rhode Island, was in a traffic accident that was not her fault. But in that town, as in ours, names, ages, and addresses of everyone involved are printed in the paper. So my spunky mother-in-law, as she was giving her information to the policeman, asked him not to list her age because she didn't want her age in the newspaper. It wasn't even that she cared if anyone knew how old she was - she just didn't want it there in black and white through no fault of her own.
I can't say I blame her. I don't see this working as a deterrent, but I do see privacy issues that are troubling. As if the powers-that-be didn't already know enough about us. You know, from the internet. Blogs and all that. :)
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