Letter: Misleading photo about militia groups erodes understanding

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2020 file photo the Utah House of Representatives convenes for a special session of the Legislature at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Legislative efforts to restrict access to booking photos are growing as major police departments are imposing policies against releasing them and news organizations reconsider their approach to covering criminal justice. Delaware. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer,File)

I’m compelled to call out The Tribune’s online editors about using a rather misleading photo to accompany the story on Feb. 18 about militia groups supporting legislation to punish rioters.

The file photo shows armed, masked militia members in Cottonwood Heights, nowhere near the Capitol building, six months ago. It has nothing to do with the substance of the story, legislative debate. Yes, the fine-print caption describes the photo correctly, but a great many readers will see only the photo and the headline and conclude that armed, masked protesters were at the Capitol recently.

Tribune editors should have known that would happen, and are guilty of misleading and inflaming their readers. That is poor journalism. I am not in any way defending guns or militias, but I am trying to call out journalism that erodes understanding, rather than promotes it.

Tom Horton, Park City

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