'Doesn't take a lot of brain power to take your clothes off'
A more reasoned response to our story on the local Playboy model , addressed to the reporter:
Dear Ms. Killion-Valdez:
I was very disappointed that the Post Bullentin chose to glorify Jessica Zelinske's lifestyle choices (Friday, July 29, Section C).
In our celebrity-obsessed society, local girl (unmarried and needing to support a seven year old) posing nude for Playboy and making Hefner's magazine cover is exciting - will do wonders for Playboy's local sales!
However, this story in a small city newspaper like Rochester's Post Bulletin sends the wrong message to young, local women who read your story and think "This is really cool, I could do this too!" Whatever happened to the the mesages from not so long ago that girls/women were smart, needed to get an education, and could succeed in the world using their brains rather than their bodies and good looks?
Ms. Zelinske a very pretty young woman but it doesn't take a lot of brain power to take your clothes off.
You're an excellent writer and reporter. I hope in the future both you and the Post Bulletin will choose your stories more wisely and for the greater good rather than the greater titillation.
My opinion: We didn't "glorify" Zelinske. We put the story inside the Life section, not on the front page, and the photo was discreet (though larger than we'd typically run, for design reasons).
We could have ignored the story when we became aware of it, but when a Rochester resident is on the cover of a major national magazine -- think of Playboy what you will, but at least until recent years it has been a top-circulated magazine -- we tend to report it.
The "brain power" comment seems a little harsh, as are a few of the other judgments.
Let's hear from more of you: What's a news organization to do with a story of this kind? Skip it?