The Leader’s Aug. 30 coverage of the Alisa Belcourt funeral stands as
a perfect example of the press’s tendency toward poor judgment in
determining what constitutes news.
Regrettably, society has become accustomed to the funerals of
celebrities being covered like movie premieres or sporting events.
But when did the last rites for a 15-year-old private citizen become
appropriate material for front-page, color coverage accompanied by a
story that breathlessly informed the public at exactly what point the
young lady’s father broke [down] during his eulogy?
Your photographs of youngsters grieving and of a father and his
daughters at the altar inside a church were in appalling bad taste.
Alisa’s death was a news event. Her funeral was a private matter
and your decision to cover it as you did warrants, in my opinion, a
crack across the knuckles or perhaps a knee to the groin. Shame on
* EDITOR’S NOTE: The Aug. 28 memorial service for Alisa Belcourt
was public. The Leader obtained permission from Father Robert
Gallagher of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church to cover the