The Springfield News-Leader has responded to a now deleted Facebook post by the Springfield Police Officers Association.
The post lashed out at city leaders and media for coverage and response to the assault of Officer Mark Priebe.
The statement from the paper talks about the reporter on scene, sending information back to the editors, as the editor-in-chief wrote the story from home because of the pandemic.
Editor-In-Chief Amos Bridges says editors take all the information sent to them, collect those emails into a story to publish online, and top it off with a short title meant to announce the news in the simplest terms.
Bridges goes on to talk about how the paper, in hindsight, should have updated the headline that read, “Man shot at Springfield police headquarters”, earlier.
Bridges says the shorter headline struck some readers as dismissive of Officer Priebe’s injuries or as an attempt to stir up antagonism toward police, which he says is never the paper’s aim.
The statement also responds to allegations of reporter Steve Pokin wrote headlines associated with the story and chased “clicks”, saying Pokin didn’t write any headline and any attempt to chase clicks is fiction.
Bridges ends the response by saying, “There are many challenges ahead for the police department, for our community and for this newspaper. Our lives and our jobs are changing. Reckoning with inequality and the social and economic disruption of a pandemic with be demanding enough. Listening with an open mind will serves us better than reacting to unintended slights.”