Petition Closed
Petitioning The Daily Times

For Austin Tyler Hitch: Publish Apology to Family for Sensationalized Journalism

To try and help Stop Sensationalized Journalism, as the Uncle of the deceased teenager in this article, Austin Hitch, I find it totally appalling and unacceptable that a newspaper, The Daily Times in Maryville Tennessee, publisher Carl Esposito, executive editor Larry Aldridge, reporter JJ Kindred and parent company Jones Media would list arrest records in an article on a 19 year old tragically hit and killed by a train on June 2nd, titled and told to the father in order to get the interview as it was to be a tribute to him published only three days after the incident and which also was on the day of the services. I firmly believe the code of ethics of professional journalism have been grossly bashed by their actions in doing this. And it is apparent from the numerous Facebook comments, many by people not even knowing the family, condemning their chosen methods of mentioning such things in this kind of article, that it's not only the family members that feel this way. We the family, and other readers in the FB comments, feel at a minimum this newspaper owes the family a Published Front Page Apology for defaming the name of a tragically deceased young man in such a deceitful manner. My brother, the deceased's father, Jeffrey Hitch, was relentlessly badgered by reporter JJ Kindred beginning the DAY OF the tragedy to obtain an interview with him, and he lied to my brother about the content of this article by listing Austin's arrest records one by one . This small town publication to this point will recognize no fault what so ever in doing this, and especially in the deceitful manner in which they obtained the interview from my brother in the first couple of days of this tragic event.

I sent a letter to the editor which was published July 17th. Their response is still basically offered NO apology to the family for their original handling of this article and published a very Lame response to the letter.

Here are links for the original article from June 5th and my Letter to the Editor from July 17th. Please read and take in the Facebook comments of both and also feel free to post your own discontentment with the actions of this newspaper, and add your name to my petition.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/Local_News/story/Father-of-Austin-Hitch-mourns-extremely-bright-son-killed-in-train-accident-id-037136

http://www.thedailytimes.com/Your_Voice/story/Uncle-is-critical-of-news-story-of-death-id-038534

Letter to
The Daily Times
Publish Apology to Family for Sensationalized Journalism