JWs Put Student "Journalists" at Risk!

by Voyager 11 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Voyager

    Kids at scholl are given an assignment to write an article. The articles that are the best, are published in a newspaper with the writers name attached.

    It seems that Jehovah's Witnesses are (plucking) kids names from these articles, and contacting them to see if they are interested in becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Of course these kids are (minors), and they are being contacted (without) parental consent.

    This has caused concern between teachers, parents, and newspaper management. Unsolicited contact with children prompts editor and others concern.

    So the question was, Do we leave the kid's name with their articles or not? If we take their names away from their articles, then they will (not) get the full credit that they are due. So the writer of this article calls it ( Kid's names stay in!)

    Kid's Names Stay In!



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    Published January 16, 2005

    Hirten: Kids' names stay in
    Attention created by media coverage can cut two ways


    Mickey Hirten
    Executive Editor
    [email protected]

    I remember being in school and getting this homework: Write a letter to the local newspaper about ...

    For me, it was one of those painful assignments, a real groaner; that is, until the paper published my letter.

    Then it was a great idea from a brilliant teacher.

    And I'm sure it's the same today.

    Kids are proud to have their letters published on the Lansing State Journal Schools page. We like to publish them.

    We had a letter recently from a teacher thanking the newspaper for its letter program, but wondering whether it was necessary to use students' names.


    Apparently a reader tried to contact a student letter writer to introduce her to the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    The information came to the school and was fielded by the teacher, who was rightfully concerned about unsolicited contact with children.

    The incident prompted editors here to review the policy of using students' names and weigh competing interests affecting these letters.

    Clearly, we don't want people contacting students with religious solicitations - or worse. And honestly, most people wouldn't even consider it.


    But there's a risk in standing out from the pack - a letter to the newspaper, the lead in a school play, prize-winning art or athletic achievement.

    All may result in some sort of publicity - an article in the newspaper, a clip on TV, a Web site mention.

    And, of course, that's the payoff - acknowledgement in the community of superior achievement, talent or ideas.

    Take the name off a student letter published in the Lansing State Journal and it loses it's impact - for the writer and the reader.

    Run a photo without names of the leads in "Romeo and Juliet" and it isn't clipped and hung on refrigerator doors.

    At the State Journal, we strive to balance such competing interests. With letters and other youth-centered coverage, we continue to lean toward openness and identification.


    But it's important to review our policies and to be attentive to potential risks and dangers.


    It's also important for you to talk to us if you see students at risk from coverage they receive on these pages.

    What do you think? Write Mickey Hirten, Lansing State Journal, 120 E. Lenawee St., Lansing, MI 48919. For past columns, visit www.lsj.com/columnists. Email this story to a friend | Printable Version

  • Gretchen956

    They might be more concerned if they hear about the child abuse scandal amongst JWs. Someone might want to point that out. All JWs are not benign and contact with minor children without their parents consent then becomes more problematic.

    Something to think about.


  • Voyager


    Very good point Gretchen. An e-mail to the editors of this article, listing those facts might prove to be well received by them.

    Thanks Gretchen!

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    How about a letter to the local Kingdom Hall or to the Watchtower threatening an article in the newspaper if they don't stop the practice. Bet that would do it. They don't like adverse publicity.

  • Scully

    How about the parents putting pressure on the newspaper to send a Cease & Desist letter to the local KH .... doesn't this activity constitute a form of harassment?

    I gave the Mormons hell for inviting all the neighbourhood kids to a Christian Themed? "puppet show" in the park last summer. I only found out about it AFTER my kid came home and told me about it and said the Mormons would be coming with a Free Coloring Book? for the family.

    Love, Scully

  • Voyager


    That is an excellent idea! Good show! We could start a campaign on this one.


  • Incense_and_Peppermints

    right on, Scully!

    the witnesses are getting sneakier (if that's possible) and more agressive, i see...

  • Voyager


    Your a genius! A cease and desist letter. In view of how the Watchtower is treating certain ones here lately, with their (God Almighty Attorney's) running the show, it would sure put them in their place now wouldn't it?

    Great idea Scully!


  • Incense_and_Peppermints

    i luv that -- give 'em a taste of their own medicine.

  • sf

    Damn predators! God, how much more obvious can they be?


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