Disappointed in coverage
I am writing you with extreme disappointment and dismay. Your two recent articles in The Times Argus regarding the rape trial of Dane R. Martin have focused much attention on the defendants very loose connection and former association with the Vermont Ravens Semi Pro football team. Your articles have attempted to sensationalize this case by emphasizing Mr. Martin’s connection with this community based organization.
The Vermont Ravens organization, players, coaches and administrators stand with the entire community in hoping that wheels of justice will work as designed and that the truth of the events that occurred in 2009 are fully discovered. The Ravens organization is made up of local residents who are proud to live and work in the greater central Vermont community. We are fathers, sons, brothers, friends and neighbors. We are teachers, volunteers, business leaders, professionals, students and coaches. We work extremely hard as an organization to give back to the community we serve. Over the last seven years this organization has volunteered its time in a variety of ways. Our players and coaches have conducted football clinics and camps for our area’s youth and have donated and raised funds for several area recreation projects and committees. We are more than proud to be a part of this community.
Your attempt to sensationalize this story by emphasizing the defendant’s connection to the Ravens is wrong. It seems quite obvious that you hope to draw more attention to this story by describing the defendant as a Vermont Ravens semi pro football player. Would this story not simply be intriguing enough to your readers by simply reporting the facts? Would your articles not have enough legs if Mr. Martin was not a semi-pro football player? Your motives are quite obvious in that you are not merely attempting to report the news, but rather hoping to create a story. It seems to be an attempt on your part to ride in the wake of the horrific events and subsequent trial and verdicts passed down in the community of Steubenville, Ohio. Those events have generated great national media attention and justifiable public outcry. Your attempts to create a story here by focusing your attention on the fact that the defendant was once a member of the Vermont Ravens organization is shameful and does not do justice to the alleged victim and the merits of the case. I am surprised that The Times Argus, one of our great community partners, would allow you to report this story in this manner.
Paul D. Winters
Editor’s note: Dane R. Martin was acquitted this week of the charges brought against him.
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