Editorials Archive 15


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CorpsStories Editorial 

Thanksgiving 2009

For this publication to move forward toward a useful purpose, it is time to let our readers, and everyone else, know what this news publication is, and what it is not.

CorpsStories IS NOT objective news about Marines; we publish positive news only.

For years I have been criticized for not publishing all angles of Marine news, and been called �soft� for not taking a critical look at things like Marine murders, corruption, etc.

Of course news about a Marine slicing the neck of his pregnant Marine girlfriend boils my blood. Absolutely, that is news. But there are a bazillion publications running that above the fold. And for one purpose, readers. Human nature loves morbidity, especially amongst the elite. Choosing those stories over good news, I call sensationalism.

For some news outlets sensational news equals readers – equals sales of papers or online ads – equals revenue. We are not about revenue; we operate on a shoestring budget.

Likewise I am not going to be told that this Marine�s story is hotter than another�s because it will draw funds. I want to paid like anyone else, but I�d rather be flat broke and publish stories that inspire, than rich publishing stories that degrade.

I will no longer tolerate being dismissed for our highest ethical mission. If you want objective and critical Marine news, by all means, sign off, but come back anytime.

Corpsstories IS now going to prioritize news about those aiding the Marine community by conquering trauma.

Since the September 10 death of Marine and Catholic priest Fr. Dennis Rocheford, I have had to make a personal choice that will direct CorpsStories future. I am the helm, and I�ve picked a side.

Fr. Rocheford wound up dead, alongside many Marines with the same illness – and has cost the Corps immeasurably. My own diagnosis with a trauma illness – a close cousin to the priest�s – can no longer be kept to myself for fear of criticism from the readers whom I care so much about.

Fr. Rocheford was one of CorpsStories first interviews and I am stepping out for his behalf. This beloved priest was sick and suffering in the most obvious ways. Yet those who could have helped him did not. And some of us who sincerely understood him did not stand up beside him.

No, my PTSD did not begin in combat. Yes, I am a legitimate and expert voice in support of Marines despite that detail. Those in my inner circle know the origins of my trauma, but such details are not the business of anyone else, just as how a Marine develops PTSD is none of mine.

All that matters is that when one has trauma issues, the feeling of having someone who is about to fire a gun pressed to your temple occurs thousands of times a day. It does not matter whether that psych switch was flipped on by child abuse, an Iraqi ambush or domestic violence. The wiring is sparking and that is that.

I will not tolerate anyone in the Marine community dismissing another Marine for their PTSD or other trauma illnesses, such as Traumatic Brain Injury.

If you think TBI or PTSD is for the weak, first tell that to anyone who knew Fr. Rocheford, then know you are unwelcome to visit this site again.

Sign on, or sign off.

CorpsStories is NOT a place for readers to write opinion anonymously.

Lots of sites allow blogging, online opinions posted about a news story; opinions from anonymous readers.

Once again a money maker:  folks write after reading, then love to read their own and other’s errant thoughts. This increases page views, increases stats, increases advertiser’s exposure, increases income to the publication.

The stories we run matter to us. The Marines, their supporters revealed in our stories are nothing less than brave Americans. We at CorpsStories are not going to allow anyone to take a swipe at our subjects, especially when they can jump out of the ring anytime.

And again, we’d love a bigger budget. But not at the expense of our mission.

If you have an opinion, we welcome it. But bring it with a full name. Otherwise… you guessed it – sign off.

Meriwether Ball, Editor/CEO