Letter: Reporting with heart | VailDaily.com

Letter: Reporting with heart

Growing up in Vail, one of my earlier childhood memories is coming home to the news that a friend of the family had perished in an avalanche in East Vail. My caution to venture there has grown as, year after year, the East Vail chutes have claimed many lives. I have too much respect for Mother Nature and the hard-working professionals who not only keep boundaries within the resorts safe, but have additional efforts for rescue and recovery for peril in the backcountry.

The article that John LaConte wrote about Johnny Kuo was one of the most beautiful dedications to someone’s life that I have ever read. Whenever I hear of someone dying there, it makes me angry because I feel it is so unnecessary, but LaConte brought such a lovely tribute to Kuo’s life that I felt nothing but deep sorrow and admiration for Kuo.

But several days later, there was as follow-up article on the avalanche by Nate Peterson that stunned me like squeezing lemon on a wound.

The young woman that accompanied Kuo must be going through such agony to begin with. I thought it was tasteless and inappropriate to sensationalize on this tragedy. Not all facts need to be reported.

If you need to heed warning on the dangers of skiing the backcountry, do so without magnifying someone’s post-traumatic stress disorder. She must be going through enough. If you did not note: Kuo’s sister had the kind wherewithal to say: “he died doing what he loved …” Alluding to the fact that this was his decision. The grace with which the family has dealt with this tragedy is a lesson for some reporters to learn. We can be more respectful of this event by educating the public on the dangers instead of scrutinizing those who must bear the tragic outcome of their decisions.

Brittany Franke


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