The Press: Editors' Dilemma

Few lawbreakers, from the drunken driver to the crooked official, ever succeed in bullying or bribing U.S. newsmen to keep their names out of the paper. Yet editors go out of their way to shield one type of criminal: the juvenile delinquent. By long tradition, or in many states by law, the great majority of U.S. newspapers never name juvenile delinquents, i.e., offenders under the ages of 16, 17 or 18, depending on local law and custom, unless they commit major crimes such as rape or murder.

As juvenile crime rates skyrocketed, editors have had to decide whether they were avoiding their...

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