Once again, suicide plays out in the news

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Nuts & Bolts: A discussion of how things work in the news business

In one of these columns some months ago, we explained why the suicide of a local woman was not mentioned — outside of a simple obituary — in this newspaper.

In contrast, last week a case of suicide was splashed prominently across the top of the front page of our June 1 edition.

Why the difference?

The suicide of J.T. Woods was big news for a number of reasons.

Primarily, it was news because Woods was a public figure, a man running for the office of property assessor.

Woods suicide also fell into the realm of news because of how he did it.

The former property assessor’s office employee took his life outside the home of his former boss and political rival, incumbent property assessor Teresa Kirkham.

Also boosting our decision to play the story prominently has been the contentious nature of and ongoing issues involving the property assessors office and its candidates.

Woods seemed intent on shock value — on making a statement — when he took his own life.

What that statement was is something that he took to the grave with him.

Unlike Woods, some people take their own lives in quiet desperation when circumstances or mental health issues overwhelm them.

These are more private acts, and they are ones we tend to choose to keep private.

We view all suicides as tragedies, just the same.
Do you like easy?

So do we.

We are trying to make things easier for you — and ourselves — by developing new business cards that will include e-mail addresses to send photographs that might be of interest to the newspaper.

We expect to have these available next week.

You can come by the newspaper for one, or ask a news employee.

We get some really good submitted photos of hard news fare such as car accidents and fires, but we also like submitted photos from school functions, clubs and other organizations.

We also like to see good photos from sports we might not have the staff to cover regularly.

Some people like keeping a business card in their wallet or card file.

However, if you just want to jot down the information, here it is:

Send news and feature photos to newsroom@roanecounty.com.

Send sports photos to glindsay@roanecounty.com.

Remember that photos for print must be shot at a higher resolution to look good than those simply for online viewing.

Usually, setting your digital camera on “fine” resolution will do the trick.

Hope to see your photos soon.