Paper Gets Story Wrong about Cancelled Football Game

by Placerville Newswire / Sep 01, 2018 / comments

[Cris Alarcon, Placerville Newswire]

Placerville, CA – Mt Democrat "Staff" writer gets it wrong in rush to get the story.  In a cancern about safety of students over alleged threats of a "protest" held at the opening of football game hosted at Union Mine High School the Mt Democrat's headline read, "Union Mine cancels football for the sake of safety."  This was incorrect, it was the Douglas High School administrators that pulled out of the scheduled game.

Due to mechanic issues with printing on paper, before the news can be spread a story was written on Thursday in order to be in the "Friday" edition of a printed newspaper.  In the printed news trade this is called, putting the paper "to Bed" referring to the deadline needed to account for the time it takes to print and distribute printed paper newspapers.

The Mt Democrat wrote a story about the game cancellation that included an attempt to reach many key officials to create a story before the paper was put to bed and included this statement, "As of publication the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office had not responded to requests for additional information and calls to Neville were directed to voice mail [sic]."  Paul Neville is the Union Mine principal.

The paper Tagged this story as, "breakingnews" and did a fairly informative story about the alleged protest due a recent arrest that occurred on school grounds, but missed a key fact that was cleared up by a later media release issued by the EDSO after an investigation was more complete.  Even with pressure of publishing deadlines, few law enforcement agencies will issue statements prior to a complete investigation, cautious not to make a "rush to judgement."

On Friday August 31, 2018 at 4:35 PM the Sheriff's Office issued a statement that provided the information that filled the void in the newspaper's knowledge leading to the error.  Shortly after, on August 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm, the newspaper "updated" their online story but still failed to correct a key point, it was not Union Mine High School that backed out of the football game, but it was Douglas High School who was scheduled to play against Union Mine that cancelled.

In order to provide accurate information about local law enforcement the Sheriff's Office issued this statement:

via Sergeant Anthony Prencipe, EDSO.

"This week, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office was informed about a protest which was being planned at the Union Mine High School Football game tonight, August 31, 2018.  The protest was due to a recent arrest which occurred on school grounds.

Threats of a protest increased through out the week, with rumor that some expressed the desire to incite violence, including bringing firearms to the school. EDSO School Resource Officers investigated the rumors and found no conclusive evidence to corroborate these threats. The Sheriff's Office planned on staffing the event tonight with more personnel, prepared for any protests.

We worked closely with Union Mine High School to ensure the safety of the students on our campuses. The school also provided information about the protests to Douglas High School who was playing against Union Mine tonight. Douglas High School decided to cancel the game after hearing about the threats of protest.

At this time, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is not aware of any threats to the community or schools."