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Age appropriate

April 21, 2011 - Jennifer Houtman
Is it polite to ask a person his or her age? If you are a regular reader of our newspaper and Web site, you've probably noticed we include people's ages as often as possible. There are reasons for that. (We aren't just being nosy.)

A person's age helps provide context for that person's perspective. We want readers to know that we try to include people of all ages in our reports. It's a way of including different points of view. A 15-year-old will likely have a different perspective on an issue than a 50-year-old.

Sometimes people we interview don't want to give their age, and that's fine. But our reporters are told to ask just the same. We hope if people see we are including people of their age group in our stories and photos, they will be more likely to turn to us for information they need. We want to include all points of view. We want all age groups to feel we are reporting on topics that are important to them, and in a way that is relevant to them.

A story on retirement, for example, needs to include information for a wide range of people. A 30-something reader is looking at retirement a little differently than a 60-something reader. Our stories need to be relevant to both age groups and to those in between.

Your age is just one of the factors that makes you who you are, and in our reporting it's a detail we need in order to provide the best information we can.


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