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A matter of fairness

Unbiased, objective, fair and accurate reporting is the bedrock of how we cover news and write about what’s important to you in the Heart of Virginia.

A key element of crime reporting is an aspect of fairness, one that adds transparency, not only in our objective reporting, but also to local law enforcement agencies.

We pride ourselves on following through the entire process in crime reporting, including documenting the initial arrest, publishing indictments and reporting the final disposition.

Since last summer, we’ve been reporting non-traffic misdemeanor and felony arrests in our readership area.

We publish these arrests because they’re important for our readers to know about. They involve crimes that take place in our neighborhoods and communities and, often times, near where we work. It’s your right to know, and it’s our duty to keep government as open and transparent as possible — including our local police departments and sheriff’s offices.

What’s also of the utmost importance is following up on reported arrests. Though each suspect gets his or her day in court and is innocent until proven guilty, having one’s name in this publication allows for thousands of eyes to cast judgement, whether it’s guilty or not guilty, or fair on unfair.

That’s why we follow up on each arrest, and publish final court dispositions from both circuit and general district courts.

As you’ll see in this edition, we’re publishing names, final court dispositions and sentences.

We’re doing this to toss out the verdict in the court of public opinion and publish the facts instead.

It’s our duty to publish these dispositions, which we will do monthly.

In doing so, we’re fulfilling our commitment to fairness, accuracy and objectivity.

Jordan Miles is the managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com.