Newspapers are very careful about printing the names of victims, and the Mirror is no different.
That's why this past week was particularly unusual.
Last Sunday, a story written by reporter Wendy McCardle confirmed the name of a local student who committed suicide.
The friends and family of the suicide victim organized a vigil at the Jaffa Shrine Center. They reached out to us, saying they felt it was important to share the story in hopes of saving other young people who may experience similar thoughts and wanted to get the word out.
The gathering drew a large crowd, estimated at more than 500. Since the victim's family lives near the Jaffa, many of the students in attendance walked over to the home after the memorial and signed large posters that will help the family's healing process.
On Friday, we used the name of a victim in a rape case covered by Kay Stephens - but only because the victim wanted it that way.
The victim was the man's wife. Because charges had been filed, the case had been covered and the accused had been identified publicly.
Criminal charges were dropped Thursday, and the victim, who did not testify, wanted to end any speculation about her husband.
Both of these matters are addressed in our paper's code of ethics, but both cases prove there are exceptions and why a newspaper isn't black and white as much as it's gray.
Slow(er) news day
Some in Blair County government may be wondering why our story on the county audit did not make the front page while news of the audit of the city of Altoona the next day did.
Even though the county's budget affects more people, our daily story meeting decided we had more compelling news, which bumped the county inside. The same wasn't the case the next day, which allowed the city audit to move what we call "out front."
It's the nature of the business: Sometimes you've got four-five stories that could be leadable one day and inside the next.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Jaffa Mosque changed its name to the Jaffa Shrine Facility and last year changed it to the Jaffa Shrine Center.
After the Mixed Martial Arts show in July in which I referred to the legendary local venue as "the Mosque," I was politely reminded about the change by our copy desk.
To so many who grew up going to various events there - basketball games, the circus, concerts - it will always be the Mosque - no matter what it's now called.
We're in the midst of accepting nominations for Penn State's best tailgating party. Send your choices to News Editor Margaret Moses at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best five will be featured, one at a time, starting with the Iowa game Sept. 26.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.