Letters

Exploring Why and Saying Goodbye to Diana

We opened the Monitor to read the best article written in any paper on Diana, Princess of Wales, "Travels With Diana: a Land-Mine Survivor's Tale" (Sept. 3), and your editorial. Just had to tell you how much it has meant to us over here. The writing is deep, thoughtful, and brought a beautiful ring of truth to what was such a gentle glow of love that touched our lives and made this a richer and more loving place.

Thank you for caring, sharing, and embracing us all in this country's time of deep mourning. Many of us have been much comforted by the love expressed through the pages of the Monitor.

Marta Greenwood

Weybridge, Surrey, Britain

There are tough lessons to be learned from the tragedy in which Diana lost her life. As a deterrent to those tempted to drink and drive, tougher penalties should be set for those convicted of drunk driving. Seat belts should be compulsory for drivers and all passengers. Speed limits should be strictly adhered to and effectively enforced.

Road safety is a subject of vital importance today. The Monitor's Global Report, "Drunk Driving Draws Global Wrath" (Sept. 3) includes a headline, "Safety Through Sobriety," that should speak to all road users.

Alistair Budd

Lindenfels, Germany

Thank you for your excellent coverage of Princess Diana. The editorials were just right and the explanation distinguishing between true journalism and the renegade photographers was badly needed. Truly Diana will remain the "Queen of Hearts" for many of us. One can only hope and pray that the royal family sees this as a wake-up call for their own behavior.

Georgia G. Bowden

Santa Rosa, Calif.

It is not the paparazzi who distort the meaning of "news," as your editorial states, but instead the news media and the reading public that support their work. News executives need to quit pointing fingers and consider which side of the line dividing "the people's business" and yellow journalism they are on. Offenders include not only the supermarket and television tabloids. Major newspapers and network news programs may decline to purchase such photographs or articles. They will, however, reprint the items as part of their own coverage - this is just as offensive as being first to publish. I agree that such distortions of the meaning of "news" plays into the hands of those seeking to handcuff the press. But it is up to the press to solve its own problem. Without a ready market for their photos, the paparazzi would find other work.

The general public also must accept its share of the responsibility. It not only buys and views the offending publications and television programs, it demands this type of coverage.

John Vlahovich

Spokane, Wash.

The implication in "Drawing a Line on Privacy Vexes Media" (Sept. 4) that "paparazzi" somehow make hapless "victims" of famous people who, it is claimed, loathe the publicity they get, is naive. It has to be admitted that such media targets often invite, or at least tolerate, press snooping. In cultivating the public image of a Hollywood lifestyle and engaging in what one British woman journalist described as her highly publicized "public weeps and personal confessions," is it any wonder Diana would be pursued?

Albert L. Weeks

Sarasota, Fla.

Thank you for the beautifully written editorial on Mother Teresa, "Helping the Meek Inherit" (Sept. 9). As a Christian Scientist, I am so grateful we can recognize good works and love expressed in another, regardless of their religion.

I also wish to thank you for your excellent coverage of Princess Diana - for its balance and tastefulness. The story from Jerry White of Landmine Survivor's Network, the man who toured with her in Bosnia, said all that needed to be said.

Jean Piper

Edmond, Okla.

Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed to oped@csps.com

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