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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Missing woman found: more good news needed

Everybody deserves praise in finding Amy Story

Normally I am not a fan of good-news stories in the newspaper. But I find myself on the other side with respect to Amy Story’s story [“Missing woman found safe,” Around the Northwest, June 26]. But The Times buried the news that Story had been found on page B3. I think it should have gotten far more prominence.

Most of what we get is someone screwing up or being accused of screwing up. But look at this case. The ferry crew did the right thing. They sprung into action after discovering her car. She was quickly identified and an appropriate search was made. The family did the right thing. They were open with the media and the authorities about her medical condition. They were careful to say Story was not dangerous and provide reasons to believe their characterization.

The police did the right thing. They were able to find her and reunite her with family. Even the media behaved responsibly, at least judging by The Times’ coverage. Except the final story, coverage wasn’t sensational and entirely appropriate.

If you are going to criticize, it is appropriate to also praise. And the public gets a lot of “here’s what’s wrong.” This needs to be balanced with “here’s what’s right.” Otherwise, we will undermine our ability to do the right thing in a misdirected effort to fix what’s wrong.

— Patrick J. Russell, Seattle

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