We hurt right along with Vicksburg

Published 1:50 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The word “objective” is often connected to what media should be.

One definition of the word says, “(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.”

Being objective in what we cover is among our top rules. It is what we seek to be in every single case, whether it be on the smallest story or the largest.

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But, there are times when something so heinous, so terrible happens, that sometimes being objective is trumped.

Such is the recent case of the murder of 69-year-old Sharen Wilson.

I will admit that I have been to more crime scenes than I can count. I have written numerous stories about shootings, break-ins and sadly, murders.

And while each case is very similar in the type of questions you seek to get answered by authorities and the information you give to your readers, there are times when the story becomes personal.

Late last week, as we continued to cover Wilson’s horrific assault and murder, the more details that we learned, the more disturbing and sad it became.

Don’t get me wrong, any loss of life is terrible, any murder is horrific, and in no way should one killing be diminished under another.

But, this story, from the beginning was weird, confusing, combined a brutal sexual assault and then murder at an abandoned hospital frequented by ghost hunters, who just happen to find Wilson’s body.

During our coverage, we learned things that we would never report. But, we also learned things that made us hurt so deeply for the family and long for justice.

The individual who is charged with Wilson’s assault and murder will face justice, and we will cover those proceedings with the upmost objectivity.

But we as a community — and as a result the newspaper — cannot be objective about is the security of our neighborhoods, the pockets of blight and abandoned buildings that are sprinkled throughout our community and the desperate want for something like this to never happen again.

I cannot tell you how much I hope and pray, that the murder headline that sat atop the story of Wilson’s killing, is the last murder headline I ever have a hand in writing. I know that is likely not going to happen, but it does not diminish my hope or weaken the intensity of my prayer.

We strive for objectivity in every thing we do, but we are also Vicksburg’s newspaper. When Vicksburg hurts, we hurt. When Vicksburg celebrates, we celebrate.


About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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