When 5-year-old Noah Thomas disappeared in rural Pulaski County, Va., in 2015, a massive search ensued, accompanied by intensive news coverage. Four days later the body of the child was found in a septic tank with an unsecured lid, 10 feet away from the basketball hoop outside his home.
The boy's mother, Ashley White, said she was taking a nap and Noah was gone when she woke up. The home situation was less than ideal, and instead of community sympathy for her loss, White was the object of a backlash of condemnation fueled by gossip, rumor and social media.
"She didn't grow up with a silver spoon in her mouth," said Lee Wolverton, managing editor of The Roanoke Times. "She struggled like a lot of people in that area have. People are pretty quick to judge people like her."
By the time she was convicted of child abuse leading to an injury as well as two lesser charges of neglect, White had been in jail for more than a year. Released on time served, she appealed the main conviction. It was overturned by an appeals court and the Virginia Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand.
This spring The Roanoke Times released a multi-part podcast, simply called "Septic," that told the story with a focus on the mother. Much of it is audio based in large part on courtroom recordings that were released to the newspaper. It also includes recorded interviews, photos, documents and some video.MORE
Paxton Media Group has purchased The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., from Wick Communications.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Wick Communications in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.MORE
SNPA members elected officers for 2016-17 at the News Industry Summit in Sarasota, Fla.
Read this article to see who has been elected as additional SNPA officers and as members of the Board of Directors.
SNPA members will elect officers for 2016-17 on Thursday morning, Sept. 15, in Sarasota, Fla.
Read this article to see who has been nominated as additional SNPA officers and as members of the Board of Directors.
If you have not registered for the conference yet, please register right away. Costs increase $100 per person on Thursday. MORE
Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More