Letter to the Editor: "I encourage Decorahnews to find and maintain an appropriate and sensitive balance between our right to know and our right to privacy"
Posted: Thu, Feb 7, 2019 4:23 PM
(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Licensed Psychologist Joe Breitenstein):
"From the prospective of a clinical psychologist, I applaud Decorahnews for reporting relevant criminal activity in the area. Ignoring such events can create an inaccurate view of what is really happening in our community, as unsavory as that might be to read sometimes. There is value in not pretending that we are Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon "where all the women are strong, all of the men good looking, and all of the children above average." That can lead to ignoring problems and driving them further underground.
However, I vehemently oppose disclosing readily identifiable information and salacious details associated with tragic events. This is an invasion of privacy and can be a form of re-victimization. Perhaps the only thing worse than being traumatized is having it invalidated or publicized. Yes, such details can be found elsewhere on the internet. But my guess is that most people don't look for it, not because they couldn't find it, but because they appreciate that it is none of their business and that they would want their privacy protected under similar circumstances.
I encourage Decorahnews to find and maintain an appropriate and sensitive balance between our right to know and our right to privacy."