Friday, August 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Step back, take a breath, then report the news

faison column sig

By
From page A8 | February 10, 2013 |

It’s not always best, or even appropriate, to print all the information you know or think you know as a journalist. The investigation into the death of Genelle Renee Conway-Allen is one such instance.

Genelle, 13, of Suisun City, was a student at Green Valley Middle School and lived in a foster home in Suisun City. She was last seen Jan. 31 after school, walking through various areas of Fairfield and Suisun City, and was reported missing that evening to Suisun police. Her naked body was found early Feb. 1 at Allan Witt Park.

Her accused killer, Anthony L. Jones, 32, of Fairfield, was behind bars as of Friday afternoon. He’s being held without bail on suspicion of murder, kidnapping to commit rape, rape, and lewd and lascivious acts on a child. Court records indicate that Jones may have a volatile temper, enough so that his wife was able to get a temporary restraining order against him.

Jones is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in a Fairfield court, one day after a court holiday.

The community came together Friday night for a blessing at Allan Witt Park, and for a candlelight vigil to remember Genelle and to show support for her friends and family.

These are the facts as they developed over the course of nine days.

Some of this information came out in various news reports before it was released by police. That’s part of what journalists do: We ferret out information that government or other sources would rather hold back. The Daily Republic knew some of what was reported in the days prior to the information being confirmed by police, but chose not to publish it for reasons I will explain later.

Let’s take Genelle’s identity. Those who knew Genelle were among the first to know that the girl found dead in the park was their friend and classmate. Police did not release her name until several days later. School and school district officials followed suit, limiting access to both information and the campus. Yet, Genelle’s name was out there on social media. Extended family members were talking about their deceased relative with various news organizations. The first reporting of her name, while correct in pronunciation, had her first name misspelled and did not have her complete last name.

There are only so many reasons why police withhold the name of a homicide victim. The most common is so they have time to properly notify all appropriate family members. We’re inclined to allow that process to play out, no matter how long it takes, unless police prove they are abusing the protocol.

I do not believe that was the case with Genelle. That’s why we did not report her name until police released it to the general public. Would you want to read about a loved one’s death in the paper, or on the Internet, before you were properly notified by authorities?

Police kept other specifics of the case close, they said repeatedly, so as to not impede the investigation. We asked specific questions, they refused to answer. That’s how it goes sometimes. Again, it has not been our experience that Fairfield police abuse this protocol. Do we report it anyway, and potentially help a killer go free? Each case is different.

Our charge is to report significant news in the communities we serve. We do so to the best of our abilities. When it’s hard news, such as the investigation into a homicide, we require more than a generic reference to “sources” before we publish information. If we do not have independent confirmation of critical information, from a knowledgeable, reliable source, we will not publish. We have strict guidelines for the use of anonymous sources that go far beyond the aforementioned reference to “sources.” Sometimes anonymous sources are necessary to get information out to the public. Those times should be the exception, not the rule, and should be clearly stated in the reporting.

Genelle’s death and the investigation that followed was big news that made headlines across the state. Every regional media outlet you can envision was here in Fairfield, trying to get the story for their readers or viewers. We were doing the same.

That said, there are times when journalists need to take a deep breath and examine what they’re reporting, why they’re reporting it, and whether they should be reporting it. Just because we can print specific information about a victim’s identity, or specifics of a homicide investigation, doesn’t mean that we always should.

We believe the investigation into Genelle’s death was one of those times when caution was the appropriate choice. Throughout our coverage, we provided factual information that was properly attributed to reliable sources. Some specifics were not initially reported, but I do not believe anyone who followed our reporting could argue that they did not know what was happening with the case, at least in the most broad sense.

There is much still to be reported on this case. We will continue to pursue information not only with an eye toward accuracy, but also with an eye toward serving the community.

Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or gfaison@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He has worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid Washington Redskins fan, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Chapkis Dance brings award-winning moves to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ducks on the pond, sturgeon in the water

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Jazz invasion Aug. 30 at performing arts center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
How I spent my summer vacation

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Small fire takes place at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Housing specialist to speak before Senior Rountable

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Brown approves ‘dining with dogs’ law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
GPS devices find huge water loss in western US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Cops greet students at school where plot thwarted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
San Francisco to tally bird-into-window death toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

California plans aid to immigrant minors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
No bail for woman in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
American Ebola doc: ‘I am thrilled to be alive’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Turkey’s Davutoglu named new premier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Thai army ruler named prime minister

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian court rejects election loser’s appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria opposition: Deadly chemical attack forgotten

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

.

Opinion

Get it straight in Ferguson

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Young men helped me, and I thank them

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My whole house shakes when my new neighbors drop their barbells

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 22-28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
The voice-overs can’t save ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: A sweet Moretz rescues ‘If I Stay’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

Julianne Hough dances back to ‘Dancing’ as judge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Jon Hamm hopes Ferguson will come out stronger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fade to black: Leonard Maltin ending movie guides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Doctor Who’ returns with a new season on BBC America

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Local boxers make weight and are ready to fight

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Serena Williams to face Townsend in Open 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Loose sod at new Levi’s Stadium removed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Woodson returning to Lambeau, faces Pack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Tigers’ Price throws 1-hitter, loses to Rays 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ryu sets course record at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in 2 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Phelps back in international comp, advances in 100

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Big 2015 Chevy Tahoe remains a rare breed of SUV

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
S&P 500 closes at a record; Hewlett-Packard gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US housing recovery appears to be back on track

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Louise Loveall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9