Upon reading an article by Roxanne Stasyszyn in the Friday, October 28 Yukon News entitled “Cops aren’t convinced attacks related; victims say otherwise,” I was saddened to hear of such a violent crime being committed against a woman outside the 98 Hotel. As a woman, I agree that our society needs to do more to assist women who have been victims of violent crimes and to bring the offenders of such crimes to justice.
I am also in agreement that the identities of victims of such violent attacks need to be protected. The importance of journalism and the role media must play to raise the profile of such issues is also something I recognize as media, without a doubt, does provide an important public service. This role must be performed in a way that the rights and interests of all citizens are protected and upheld.
This brings me to the second reason for writing this letter, which is the fact that my name, Susan Smith, was used as a “pseudonym” in Friday’s article. While I understand that this was an innocent mistake by a reporter who was merely doing her job, it must be noted that this innocent mistake has unfortunately led to some additional hardship on my part. As a public servant myself, I have been approached a number of times by coworkers and family members who were either quite concerned or bewildered.
It is on this point that I would like to suggest to the Yukon News that, in its ongoing public-service role, it would amend its policy to restrict reporters from using pseudonyms but rather use statements like “name withheld to protect the identity of the individual.” Certainly, this recommendation would help to limit any future mishaps. Lastly, I would like to say that my heart goes out to all of the victims mentioned in Friday’s article.