Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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 [email protected] 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 previously 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

 
Kids Day of Fishing began with $20 donation

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Chabad will begin Torah for Solano Jewish community

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Library foundation executive moves to Child Haven

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Theater schedules free screening of Sundance film

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

Vacaville plans recreation expo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Frazier to discuss transportation at EDC breakfast

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Fairgrounds site of horse-betting seminar, brunch

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A8

Il Fiorello schedules vegetarian cuisine class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield police log: April 19, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 19, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Lawmakers seek FDA review of ingredients used in cosmetics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors: Capsized boat captain and crew member arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High-speed rail approves 5 bidders for more construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sheriff’s domestic violence-related conviction erased

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Utah woman gets up to life in prison in deaths of 6 newborns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Police: Video didn’t capture suspect’s fatal spine injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California Uber driver accused of running down bicyclist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US warship heads to Yemeni waters; could block Iran weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lawyer: Washington Post reporter in Iran faces 4 charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Many migrants drawn by jobs, welfare in northern Europe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bombs shatter houses in Yemen capital, hit near Iran Embassy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Questions, answers about federal anti-radicalization effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Where US sees terror prevention, some Muslims see profiling

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

Sacramento woman eats 3 steak dinners in 20 minutes in Texas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chemistry Ph.D. student illustrates her thesis in comic book

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Public memorial held for the Rev. Robert Schuller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
SC paper wins Pulitzer for reporting on domestic abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

6 from Minnesota charged with trying to join Islamic State

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Opinion

 
Why does Fed insist on targeting inflation?

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Income disparity study results ironic

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 21, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to threatening to kill

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bobby Brown’s lawyer: Bobbi Kristina Brown has opened eyes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

US writer who fled Austria to escape Holocaust dead at 90

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Vice News, NPR, CNN, WNYC win double Peabody Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

HBO planning to deal Web pot sitcom ‘High Maintenance’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Kolbert’s ‘Sixth Extinction’ wins Pulitzer for nonfiction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Wolfe’s ‘Anthracite Fields’ wins Pulitzer for music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Anthony Doerr wins Pulitzer Prize for fiction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Elizabeth A. Fenn wins Pulitzer Prize for history

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Gregory Pardlo’s ‘Digest’ wins Pulitzer Prize for poetry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

David I. Kertzer wins Pulitzer for biography-autobiography

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Stephen Adly Guirgis wins Pulitzer for drama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Sports

Mustangs rally in seventh inning to top Falcons

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
AP source: Peterson stays home from Vikings workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Report: 2 teams needed to make California stadium profitable

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Data deluge: MLB rolls out Statcast analytics on Tuesday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone dead at 70

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
New format means injured drivers no longer must race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Saunders: ‘I’m the coach until I say I’m not’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Faldo to make final appearance at British Open this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Braves’ McKirahan suspended 80 games for positive drug test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raptors Lou Williams wins NBA Sixth Man Award

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Ugly Olympic conflict breaks into open at Sochi conference

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Pacquiao gets in 2 words before conference call cancelled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Eagles sign quarterback Tim Tebow to 1-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McLellan out after 7 years as coach of San Jose Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pelicans coach says Warriors arena noise might be too loud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Police: LA Kings’ Jarret Stoll had cocaine, Ecstasy in Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Desisa wins 119th Boston Marathon; Rotich takes women’s race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Jockey Chris Antley leads Racing Hall of Fame class

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

.

Business

Judge returns ultra-rich club founder Tim Blixseth to jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Running out of time: Limited-time deals can be limiting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

$134M proposed for 10 BP-funded oil spill recovery projects

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Hormel says bird flu outbreak will hurt turkey sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Bird flu confirmed at Iowa farm with 5.3 million chickens

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US stocks gain, rebounding from Friday’s slump; Hasbro jumps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Survey: US businesses expect sales rebound, more hiring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Bristol-Myers: 2 cancer drugs beat 1 against melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Halliburton says has cut 9,000 jobs in wake of oil’s drop

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: B4

Labor group seeks rehiring of workers at 5 Wal-Mart sites

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Frederick’s of Hollywood files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Willie Nelson becomes latest celebrity in marijuana business

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Kraft Mac & Cheese shedding the dyes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

ESPN says Verizon’s new FiOS TV packages violate agreements

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Lawsuit: Southwest failed to respond to medical emergency

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Bridge April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Get Fuzzy April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Peanuts April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

For Better or Worse April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Dilbert April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Sally Forth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Garfield April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
B.C. April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baldo April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Zits April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Pickles April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8