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Where does privacy end and news begin on the Ridgewood blog ?

Ridgewood Police tree crash

file phot by Boyd Loving

September 12,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in recent years this has become a recurrent theme in town , where does privacy end and news begin ?  While we do try to be sensitive to residents privacy needs we sense there is something more afoot than righteous indignation  over invasions of privacy .  In a recent post in a Facebook group:

“I wanted to share with you all a situation I found concerning that occurred recently to a friend and fellow member of the Ridgewood
community this week. During an emergency situation that impacted one of her children, as the first responders came to assist based on a 911
call made to receive ambulatory assistance, another resident of Ridgewood came to the scene of the incident and took multiple pictures
of the situation. While at the hospital, my friend began receiving text…s from other concerned friends that pictures of her, a family
caregiver, and her children (thankfully with the children’s faces blurred) had been posted on the photographer’s private Facebook page
as well as on The Ridgewood Blog.

She asked me to help her get the pictures taken down as she was focused on handling the matter they
were dealing with. I reached out to the photographer and to the Ridgewood Blog who had posted some of the photgrapher’s pictures,
respectfully asking for any of the pictures of the incident that included my friend or her family members be removed (there were other
pictures that were not an issue). The Ridgewood Blog immediately removed the concerning pictures, which we greatly appreciate. The
private photographer refused to due so stating it was his legal right to share the images.

Although I understand the desire to report on the use of municipal services within Ridgewood, I don’t understand his unwillingness to be compassionate at a time when a member of our community needed it and comply with a request to remove personal identifiers of a family in crisis. I tell this story because I have
since learned that others in our community have dealt with the same issue. If I ever find myself in an emergent situation that requires a
call to 911, do I need to be in fear of my picture being posted all around town? Based on this situation, if a person calls for emergency
services and doesn’t want their moments of crisis publicized for all to see, do they need someone on hand to intercede with pictures being
taken? I would love to know from someone with any expertise in this area, if there is anything that can be done in situations like this to
protect the right to privacy.”

Unfortunately  in our view what we need is a lot more local news not less . So we have a few  suggestions we have assembled over the last 10 plus years we have run the Ridgewood blog . While accidents happen and accidents with children are particularly difficult , most readers are very sympathetic to the child  and only wish the warmest sympathies and a speedy recovery. Most people are very supportive of their neighbors.  If it is being suggested otherwise by anyone , you need new friends .

Years of reporting on accidents in the Village has taught us a few things . Most accidents on Village streets are totally avoidable and usually caused by distracted driving or impaired judgment .

No one wants to be caught in and embarrassing situation as a news item so we would suggest residents follow theses rules;

  1. Don’t text and drive
  2. Don’t use your cell phone while you drive
  3. don’t drink till after 5 pm
  4. Keep your speed within 30 mph of the posted speed limit
  5. Shade trees are a precious resource try not to hit them

Boyd Loving does and excellent job covering local events and the Village is lucky to have him . If you do something reckless and stupid , it is still reckless and stupid if it makes news or not .  Remember the next kid you hit may be your own . Looking for scape goats and blaming others for ones failings never solves the problem and only works for politicians . In real life its best to accept responsibility .

 

 

32 thoughts on “Where does privacy end and news begin on the Ridgewood blog ?

  1. Yep, no one wants their drunken texting accident posted. Solution: don’t drive drunk, don’t text while driving.

  2. I appreciate the local news. Some news is not good news. Some news is bad news. But it is all news. Boyd blurs faces and does more than he legally has to as far as I know. That way you still see what happened without the people involved being identified. If children.

  3. This is about can vs. should. Nobody is debating whether someone can creepily photograph the lives of their neighbors in intense moments of distress. The discussion is about whether they should. Is it classless to try to serve base voyeuristic interests or not? I think Boyd is in for a rude awakening when he finds out that so many of his neighbors find this invasive, classless, rude and offensive. But then again, we are what we repeatedly do.

  4. Keep snapping, Boyd, and keep publishing, James. These brainless drivers need a little exposure.

  5. The camera never blinks.

  6. Look at this photo. Broad daylight. Someone runs into a tree and a street sign. What is creepy is that a driver is so busy doing something else that he or she drives onto the sidewalk. Keep taking the photos Boyd, we need to be reminded that even our sideWALKS are not safe to WALK on.

  7. next time they could hit a kid

  8. Hoping the child is OK. Thanking the photographer for blanking out the faces. That seems respectful to me.

  9. The incident discussed in the FB group where this quote was copied from had nothing to do with a traffic accident or the picture that is shown above. The incident was an injury sustained by a child in her own neighborhood. To clarify, the photographer who posted pictures was only asked to remove photos that included the children and family members not those that show the first responders at the scene.

  10. The public right to know is one of the freedoms included in The Constitution and courts have upheld this consistently. This includes anything that could be considered interesting to the public, something about a public figure, or perhaps affects other people in the community. This right allows news to show the victim(s) and aftermath of a car crash. I read the original article and saw the pictures and nothing I saw seemed like an invasion of privacy. This isn’t classless or rude. It’s news and I have every right to know about it including seeing pictures of the accident.

  11. The incident that was being referenced in the above passage taken from a local FB group was not a traffic accident, it was an injury that occurred while a child was playing in her own neighborhood. The picture shown above is not from the same situation.

  12. Jimmy Olson…!

  13. We need more local news, not whitewashed local news.

  14. …During an emergency situation that impacted one of her children, as the first responders came to assist based on a 911 call made to receive ambulatory assistance, another resident of Ridgewood came to the scene of the incident and took multiple pictures of the situation.

    Did Loretta Lynch write this?
    ….

  15. This discussion was NOT started because someone photographed a car hitting a tree. It was started because someone photographed an injured little girl lying on the ground. It’s creepy and wrong. Just as creepy as that other guy that videotaped a councilwoman taking a bathroom break. Yes. That happened too. If it was you, your daughter, your wife, your family you wouldn’t want it to happen this way and it shouldn’t.

  16. What if the pictures were submitted and sent to NJ.com, nort jersey.com, the Ridgewood patch, nytimes.com, etc? It’s news. You may not like it but whether it’s a professional journalistic photographer or a citizen journalist, if it’s news, it may get published.

  17. The above posting of a file picture and rules to avoid embarrassment relating to the dangers of distracted driving seek to redirect the issue that gave rise to the comment at the top of the posting. The rules would not assist a family with pictures posted of them in a moment of initial shock over a serious injury of a minor resulting from playing outside or, for example, a family member lying unconscious after a no-fault or medical incident on a village sidewalk. So whether one may legally take and publish photos is a different question than the one at hand, which is whether it is a neighborly thing to do. Reporting on the value of our emergency responders is commendable. Publishing photos of neighbors in moments of personal crisis (and refusing to remove them on request) is not.

  18. I believe the original post was about a child who fell out of a tree so your little list doesn’t apply. By the way, your article suggests it is not reckless to drive 54 mph in Ridgewood. Nice proof reading.

  19. Get a life Boyd.!!

  20. I’ve seen the way you drive JAMES…..and you have the nerve to be critical other drivers. I suggest you look in the mirror.

  21. Seems to me that the photos in question protected the girl who was injured. The photographer was fully aware not to show her identity. What more do you want? Actually I have an 8-year-old son and this made me double think whether to let him climb a tree yet. We can all learn from these news stories.

  22. Does someone actually pay this guy to do this?

  23. If the photos were submitted to NJ.com or the NY Times, an EDITOR would look at the photos, consider the facts of the event, consider the needs/wishes of the publication’s readership and then make a decision 1) whether to include a photo at all and 2) which photo balanced the public’s right to know with the victim’s privacy. He/she wouldn’t just post/print 19 random photos. That’s the difference between JOURNALISM and wannabe posers who don’t have the ethics, training, or, frankly, photojournalistic skills, to properly report the news.

  24. Anonymous 359… Well said.

  25. Anything that happens in a public place is potentially newsworthy. No-one owns the view. And what’s with the poster who is obsessed with the word “creepy”?

  26. I use all of these Boyd updates as learning points for my family. All I saw were people helping someone on the ground and her legs…couldn’t make out if it was an adult or child, male or female. Didn’t seem over the top or creepy to me. I hope she’s ok now.

  27. People don’t look when they walk on the sidewalk. They stare at their smart phone. I have had to get out of the way while walking on the sidewalk.

    I think the smart phone is more dangerous to lives than a gun. Remember, not only walkers but drivers stare at the smart phone while driving putting lives in danger. Gun owners , for the most part, use their guns SAFELY.

    I believe that smart phones should be banned. Silicon Valley has you guys by the balls. They are laughing to the bank. They don’t care a snot ball about you. And you guys buy right into it. SHEEP. Again, read Thoreau. Where do find your happiness?

  28. The picture and the blog is a misrepresentation of the facts as related to the quoted Facebook content. Your photographer covered a medical situation of a child falling in their own neighborhood. Yes, children’s faces were blurred, however, distraught adults were not. How is that news?
    You reference to how Village residents should act- as to not be embarrassed or exposed by your blog- texiting and driving, the correct hours of the day which alcohol consumption should begin, and the like; leads me to believe that this is NOT a news outlet, but primarily an outlet to shame folks who do not act the way you’d like to see. I was under the impression that news should be presented objectively and purposefully?!
    This Village needs more people who respect each other. Not those who are so judgemental.

  29. I suppose the pundits here believe that these Pulitzer prize winning breaking news photos, with children featured, should have neither been taken nor published? Stop living in a vacuum folks. Shit happens.

    http://www.pulitzer.org/winners/annie-wells

    http://www.pulitzer.org/winners/charles-porter-iv

  30. 8.47. You are so right. I say the same thing, smartphones are destroying kids, adults and everyone that uses them. I can’t remember the last time I read a paper book because I keep looking at the phone. To hell with Apple, Samsung etc. Life was beautiful when we had to call people in order to be in touch.

  31. Here Fixed that fer ya:

    “If the photos were submitted to NJ.com or the NY Times, an EDITOR would look at the photos, consider the facts of the event, consider the needs/wishes of the publication’s readership which photos would present a negative story about Trump and then make a decision 1) whether to include a photo at all and 2) which photo balanced the public’s right to know with the victim’s privacy was most damaging to Trump. He/she wouldn’t just post/print 19 random photos. That’s the difference between JOURNALISM at the mainstream media and wannabe posers who don’t have real reporters who have the ethics, training, or, frankly, photojournalistic skills, to properly report the news.”

    .

  32. Preach 258! Editors have an agenda. Boyd takes pix and lets the viewer decide. (BTW 1120, notice that Boyd posts multiple pictures of a scene and not just ONE that fits the bias of the editor?)

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