Newspaper covers all sides of police controversy -- State Journal editorial from 50 years ago

September 16, 2018

Police respond to a protest in Madison in 1967.

This State Journal editorial ran on Sept. 16, 1968:

Certainly the police have their problems these days enforcing the law and carrying out the constitutional mandate to ensure domestic tranquility.

The police have had their problems with protesters, demonstrators, agitators, a small segment of the huge student population — yes, even with the courts, some of the legal profession, and now the police have cast the whole “news media” of Madison in the role of villains.

To ensure domestic tranquility on the local scene, we would suggest Police Chief Wilbur Emery and his radio-mouthpiece, Inspector Herman Thomas, keep their cool because the police do have many friends in this community. ...

This newspaper categorically denies the blanket charge that we refuse to print the “police side” of the Aug. 3 Breese Stevens Field incidents (in which police responded to fights at a teen dance and arrested several black males, prompting allegations of racism). Only a few months ago we were castigated by some graduate students for printing what they claimed was only the “police side” of the Dow riot at the university. ...

We will continue to print all sides of any public controversial issue. Our reporters and editors have only one basic assignment, and that is to print the news as honestly, fairly and accurately as humanly possible.

Our job is to reflect the world as it is, not as we would want it to be.

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