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Letter to the Editor: Deepest apologies

— To the editor:

In the Tuesday, June 25, issue of The Dalles Chronicle we ran the story of a vigil for Sophia Macias, 12, of Dufur, suddenly stricken and hospitalized at Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Community members gathered together Monday night in tribute and solidarity with Sophia and we reported on their praise and care for the young girl.

Unfortunately, when we learned Tuesday morning that Sophia had died, we took a shortcut we shouldn’t have in an effort to make sure the story reflected the most current information. As a result, we caused unnecessary distress to a family thrust into deep and sudden grief, while at the same time publishing information about cause of death that turned out to be inaccurate.

As editor of The Chronicle, I would like to express my deepest and most heartfelt apologies to the family of Sophia Macias.

Sometimes, as we attempt to provide timely information about the events in our community, both positive and negative, hurt feelings can be inevitable. However, that was not the case where Sophia Macias’ story was concerned. In our rush to meet a deadline, we failed to give Sophia’s story the respect — and time — that it deserved.

As editor of The Chronicle it is my job to make sure we balance our goal of timely, accurate news with sensitivity to the people who are the subjects of our stories. I failed in that effort on June 25, and again offer my strongest apologies.

Each story we run in The Chronicle has different circumstances. From a reporter’s standpoint, each must be dealt with in a different way. The one thing they all have in common is that every story affects people in one way or another — people deserving of our respect, no matter what the circumstances.

Our error in dealing with Sophia Macias’ tragedy is a reminder of that. I give my promise as The Chronicle’s editor to Sophia’s family to learn from that error and to avoid causing other families unnecessary distress.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Sophia Macias’ family.

Kathy Ursprung

Managing Editor

The Dalles Chronicle

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