In last week’s (10/27/2016) issue of the Martha’s Vineyard Times we published a signed column (“Gone Hunting”) that included personal information regarding a person involved in the incidents described. The column’s author, Nelson Sigelman, is the MV Times’s former editor, and last week’s newspaper was the final one under his leadership. Accordingly, this note speaks for The Times but not for Mr. Sigelman.
We don’t walk away from content we publish simply because it is disagreeable, or because it is unpopular with some in the community. And signed columns are understood to provide writers wider latitude to express personal opinions. In this case, though, we believe that the column violated an important principle of ethical journalism: It did harm to an individual without providing any offsetting community benefit. Allowing its publication reflects a serious failure of oversight on my part, as publisher, and I apologize to the individual and family involved as well as to the Vineyard community, which deserves better from us.
Once again, I regret this lapse in oversight and apologize to all involved.