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Editorial: Choice to run photo was the wrong one

Dear readers,

I made an error in judgement in last week's issue, and I'm writing today to apologize for that error. On the front page of the paper, I included a photograph from a football game that showed a number of students smiling for the camera.

The photo ran with a story about a teen who died from suicide. It was in poor taste and I should not have published the photo.

The students had turned out a day after a classmate had died from suicide with balloons and signs in hand. Their public display was captured by a photographer. The photographer didn't ask the students to smile. They did notice he was taking their picture and, in what I'm assuming was a natural reaction, they smiled for the camera.

The photograph's placement with the story that was a poor decision on my part.

I downloaded the image when I arrived here early Wednesday morning, just a few hours before we went to press. That should have been enough time for me to realize it was poor judgment to use it.

I am sorry.

Chad Richardson, editor, Hastings Star Gazette