The standards for reporting a child’s name would be to usually omit the name if the kid is involved in a shocking or violent crime or incident, and would be named if the kid did something extraordinary, like shooting a rocket into space. The news was that a judge allowed a child to be sued by the estate of a woman for an accident. It was a perfectly odd and wonderful news story just on the slim amount of facts. But the Times and the rest of those media outlets decided to name the children, resulting in an outcry that these two kids would be forever be scarred by this case for the rest of their lives due to a “Google-able” world.
Was the Times right for reporting the names even if their source named them? The answer has been made out to be yes, because those are part of the facts in the case. But the comments section make the answer to be sort of a maybe, as the parents were criticized a lot for their “negligence” in a seemingly simple childhood activity. With the Internet making so many things publicly available, it is going to hurt the children in the future because of the ability of the public to jump on any topic and tear it apart with their biting words, demanding a sort of apology from everyone involved with the defendant’s party. The Times really needs to rethink its policy on naming children in articles, because their job maybe to give us the facts, but they also have a responsibility to society to stop this sort of sensationalism.