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Suspects Can't Always Be Named

Posted: Mar 12, 2011 10:32 AM by Sarah Hill and Robert Kessler

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Just because a family points to a person they believe is responsible for an alleged crime doesn't mean the media can report it. After the sexual assault of a 3 year old girl in Jefferson City, the girl's family started putting up fliers trying to find the man they believed was responsible.

KOMU showed video of those fliers but was careful not to show the man's face on the paper. The reporter was also careful not to mention the man's name. Why?

KOMU News Director, Stacey Woelfel said, "The reason is really that police were unable to confirm that this person was a suspect. They could confirm that a crime had happend but weren't really saying who the suspect was. If we had shown the sign, then everybody would instantly think that he was a suspect and it could be that this person wasn't involved at all."

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