Chron STAR section not for 8-year-olds

In today's Chronicle, reader representative James Campbell followed up on an earlier blog post about the STAR section's recent decision to reprint a New York Times feature on fiftysomething year-old porn stars. The decision upset some readers who didn't think the spread (pardon the pun) belonged in a family newspaper and asked "Where were the editors?"

The newspaper's features editor responded as follows:

Kyrie O'Connor, deputy managing editor/features, responded: "We didn't choose the 50-plus porn star story deliberately to annoy people. We chose it because it was one of the most interesting stories we'd seen in a long time, well-written, lively, unusual. It's true that it may not be the first story you would want your 8-year-old to read that day, but while we need to be respectful of our readers, we don't need to plan the newspaper for 8-year-olds. Any child who could read that story should have his or her questions answered about it by a thoughtful adult. Our desire was not to endorse the over-50 porn star lifestyle or advocate for it — that's not what we do — but to give people something to read and think about, to be amused or mildly provoked, as they choose. The picture was not risqué."

She's right about one thing -- The STAR section sometimes seems run as if 12-year-olds just starting to hit puberty (not 8-year-olds) are both in charge and the targeted audience.

Campbell concludes:

So, where is the boundary when it comes to publishing stories about sex and sexuality? I agree with O'Connor that the story was "interesting." For some readers, however, it ultimately was about hedonistic sex and the too-salacious-to-discuss-in-public subject of pornography.

For those readers, the story crossed the line of good taste and judgment.

Those readers are right.

BLOGVERSATION: Lose an Eye, It's a Sport, Custos Fidei.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 01/21/07 10:22 PM | Print |

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