By TIM O'BRIANT News director We make tough decisions about what to include in the newspaper and on our website every day. The Thursday release of 911 calls made by members of the Beasley family during a tragic murder-suicide that left three people dead was among the most difficult choices we've had to make in a long time. The question: Should we put the audio of the calls on our website and, if we did, how should we warn our readers about their graphic content? We decided not to put the audio on the site. Instead, reporter Karen Daily has written the story that accompanies this article. In it, she examines the content of the two calls, one from murder victim Elizabeth Beasley reporting that she had been shot and another from the mother of assailant Alton Beasley. It is our mission to bring the people of Aiken County the news and information they need and have a right to know, and these tapes are clearly public. Other media outlets in the area have chosen to run the audio on their websites, and some of our readers will be displeased that we have chosen not to do so. So why did we make the choice not to post the tapes? During a long-running debate in our newsroom Thursday, we listened to the tapes. They are raw and sad and terrifying. But we kept asking ourselves what publishing them would add to the coverage of the horrible event that visited the Aiken community on Tuesday. Again and again, we came to the conclusion that the audio would add little or nothing journalistically and that putting them out there was more an exercise in voyeurism than anything else. The tapes just show that the family being victimized was terrified and seeking help. Nothing about them indicated that the official police account of events that day differed from the reality of the situation. They simply portrayed fear and agony. We must make these decisions on a case-by-case basis. In some future situation there may be another audio or video file that portrays a horrific event that we will feel compelled to publish because it could in fact bring new or important information to light. That was not the case here. We join a community that is grieving over this latest violent end to a family. Sadly, this is not the first time such an event has touched our lives here. Even worse, it is probably far from the last time that one of our families will be affected by such bloodshed. In the end, we decided there was no compelling reason to add to the burden the Beasley family is dealing with, and we hope our readers support us in that decision. As always, I'm interested in what you have to say. If you agree or disagree with the call we've made, please call or e-mail me and I'd be glad to have your input. I can be reached at 644-2380 or via e-mail at tobriant@aikenstandard.com.