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SinceWEAsked: Stivers' family saga

No one heard a word from them for more than two weeks then, suddenly, they were everywhere. The missing Ashland family found after becoming stuck in the snow has dominated local news, and found its way into the national media as well.

We asked:

Do you think the media made too much of the story of the Stivers family, rescued March 21 from the mountains west of Glendale?

— After you read through the answers from our Web readers, check out our new question, which pertains to law enforcement in small towns.

Yes. Lack of knowledge of weather put them there. They should have stayed on good roads. Now they are media icons for messing up!!

'Phil M., White City

Too much media? On the contrary. Story led to national attention, and the eventual capture of the characters. Victims should stop whining.

' Mary W., Phoenix

This is the worst case of over-sensationalizing a story that I have ever seen. To top it off the one couple were fugitives on the run on drug charges. Bad case of reporting yet once again.

' Bob, Grants Pass

The media has a love affair with victims, and as such, they sell news rather than reporting it.

' Mark K., Medford

I fear the rest of the country will think all Oregonians are like this family!

' Ann S., Central Point

Yes. Coverage of absence was appropriate. Rescue coverage was excessive. I agree ' if they make money from their story, they should repay search costs.

Dolores S., Medford

No. The story began with an entire family being missing. It ended happily, with everyone rescued safely. I also thank the media for not playing the victim pity party game, and giving us the full story (self-admitted survivalist) which was obvious from the start. That guaranteedthat drugs and/or guns would enter the story at some point.' Kris B., Layton, Utah

I think the media headlines should have been Fugitives on the run through snow-covered mountains, tax payers pick up tab for hunt! It is my opinion the reason these families took the back roads was because that was a continuing pattern to evade police detection. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.

' Ruth D., Medford

Enough is enough and too much ludicrous. Is there nothing else happening to report? They should have been dropped the minute they were found.

' Arline B., Medford

Yes, media was starved for anything to feed on. It is not normal to give so much attention about stupid people doing stupid things' Phil G., Medford

Family missing for days and rescued? News coverage needed. Your editorial was out of whack ' anyone lost through carelessness should pay rescue costs.

' Kurt A., Medford

Not only too much coverage of the rescue story but too much coverage on the drug charges. These people should be fined.

' Leah J., Medford

Yes! Stupidity should never be rewarded.

' Bob S., Talent

This is a joke, right? First, they're foolish enough to choose that route, then we learn about the warrants. They should pay for search costs.

' B. Ellis, Phoenix

Yes, I do think too much was made of the stupid people that got themselves lost. Now they are wanted in Arizona. Stupid is as stupid does. Shows what drugs will do. Better things could have been reported.

' Carol, Klamath Falls

To say that the media covered the Stivers rescue ad nauseum is an understatement.

' Floyd S., Cyberspace

Absolutely! Poor planning, a lack of common sense, and now we learn, criminal activity, doesn't deserve this kind of attention.

' C. Black, Medford

Hey, if people want fifteen minutes of fame to highlight their abject stupidity to an entire nation, I say give it to them!

' Jessica U., Talent

Of course they did. They always run everything in the ground and then break it off. But it got the attention of the authorities in Arizona. Go figure! Sometimes it helps.

' Liz N., White City,

Yes, but I have to chuckle that it will bring some criminals to justice in the process! HAHAHAHA!

' Lisa M., Medford

We have an emotional roller coaster ride.....up we go....the safe recoveryshadowed by the fact we have a warranted drug offender. Kudos to catchingthe guy! Sick of meth dealers, users, pushers! Get out of ourstate, we have enough on our own!

' Joyce, Cyberspace

What is the proper role of the news media? I think most people believe that it is to provide the public with objective information regarding current events.

Most media professionals, on the other hand, understand that the driving force behind the news industry, or any industry for that matter, is profit.

Increased readership yields higher advertising revenues resulting in greater profits.

Human interest stories, especially those with an element of danger, such as the Stivers family's story, certainly do make compelling reading.

Stories covering things like inflation, war, national policy, etc., are given less space when human interest stories take the headlines.

Profit and public service do not have to be mutually exclusive goals, they can be achieved simultaneously. It's a question of balance, as is the rest of life.

So, all things considered, I think the Mail Tribune gave the Stivers story the appropriate amount of coverage. The public got the story it wanted and the Mail Tribune got a little bump in circulation, (I hope you did, at least).

Those of us who are interested in more in-depth coverage of other topics simply know we have to find other sources of information, but that's nothing new.

God bless America. God bless the first amendment.

' Joe H., Ashland

No, It was a good human interest story. The perils of unplanned travel in wilderness and inclement weather is a good safety warning to others.

' Ruben G., Summerset, S.D.

Yes. It did not snow every day that they could not have walked out sooner and if they got TV reception then they should be able to get cell service. We pay for their stupidity.

' Mike, Medford

No, it was all entertaining. Given their bad judgment and arrest warrants, the only thing missing is Tonya Harding!

' Matt, Medford

Most definitely. The Stivers prove Darwin wrong. It isn't survival of the fittest, sometimes it's just dumb luck (emphasis on the dumb).

' Todd S., Grants PassYes, indeed, the media made too much of the Stivers adventures and Iwould imagine the Higginbothams think so as well!

' Lu V., Medford

They made a circus out of themselves! With their actions and unappreciative, ridiculous statements. People risking their lives to save yet another victim of society.

' Jim H., Medford

No, had they not got the coverage, they might not have been found and criminals will have to pay for their crimes and extra benefit from the media. ' Valerie L., Cave Junction

This week's question

Phoenix Police Chief Bob Kershaw resigned March 29 after being arrested on felony tampering and forgery charges. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department stepped in to handle law enforcement in the town.

We ask:

Should the sheriff's department provide law enforcement for small towns or should small towns maintain their own police forces?

Please keep your answers brief and on the issue at hand. Responses received without your name and town can not be considered for publication. All responses will appear on the Web site a week from today.

You may submit your answer by using the form here on the Web site, or you may respond directly to SinceWEAsked: Stivers? family saga"weasked@mailtribune.com