If truth is the first casualty of war, patience must be the equivalent of breaking news.
In covering any major crime – and, indeed, any not-so-major crime – there are legal issues at play for journalists and news organisations of which many in the community are not aware.
This week we have been asked why we have neglected to detail certain aspects of the circumstances surrounding the alleged murder of Greenfields man Axel Boreski.
Readers have asked why we have provided only one side of the story.
We have been accused of portraying the young man charged over Mr Boreski’s death as a “cold-blooded killer”.
This is nonsense.
We have done no such thing.
Rather, we have simply stuck to the facts as provided to us by police.
And there’s a very good reason for this; it’s the law.
Until an accused has faced court for the first time, we cannot name him or her.
If they plead guilty to a crime, we can relate the facts as heard in court.
If they plead not guilty, we need to sit through a trial to hear the evidence tendered.
At no time during the court process can we surmise anything about the accused or their alleged crime/s.
To do so would be in contempt of the court process, and could harm the chances of an accused getting a fair hearing.
If we work on the premise that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise – and we are legally bound to do exactly that – there is very little we can report about any accused offender until the matter has been through the courts.
It may be weeks, or even months, before we start to hear the details that led to the death of a local man on the weekend.
But these things cannot be rushed.
What can be promised, though, is that we will be there to provide news and updates on the justice process as it happens.
We understand the community is reeling following this incident.
It has shocked all of us.
But we simply can’t rush into anything when such a serious case is yet to be heard.
We all need to be patient.