In the wake of this week’s drug busts at TCU, the institutions involved are getting a lot of scrutiny, and that’s good. Did TCU blow things out of proportion? Were the Fort Worth police more interested in headlines than justice? Was the media irresponsible?
I’ve read the stories, columns and comments over the past four days, and I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on our coverage. I’ve come to two conclusions:
1. I wish we had done a better of job of emphasizing the relatively small-time drug-dealing outlined in the arrest warrant affidavits. The comments of TCU and Fort Worth police at the morning news conference seemed to describe something more sinister than the affidavits actually contained. We needed a headline to that effect as part of our first-day coverage.
2. Aside, from that, I think our coverage on the whole was comprehensive and fair. Whatever your stance on drugs, or TCU, or police, this was a big story in Fort Worth.
Our editorial board has encouraged the university to be more forthcoming about allegations of drug use by football players. Randy Galloway gives TCU props for not trying to cover things up. Columnist Bud Kennedy has become a high-profile skeptic of the entire communications effort.
In today’s media world, that kind of depth and reasoned analysis is too often missing from coverage of events, and I’m proud of our newsroom for taking the time to provide it.