When the "need to know" goes too far
Being a newsie, I've certainly been following the grisly discovery of human remains in a hockey bag, found in Cape Breton's Mira River. And, I have to say, I'm pretty disgusted with the media.
Sounds a little strange coming from a member of the media, huh?
The police issued a statement saying they would not be releasing the victim's name at this time, due to a request from the deceased woman's family. But, almost every media outlet has put the young woman's name out there, is using the photo from her Facebook profile, and revealing lots of details about her past. All of this, despite that very clear message from the family saying they didn't want her name released yet.
I don't know, maybe they want to grieve without having an onslaught of eager reporters looking to get their reaction on how they feel about the murder of their loved one.
This certainly isn't the first time. Some media outlets constantly go to neighbours after a murder, seeking information, and releasing names before the police do. I'm not saying the police should dictate what the media does, and, I'm not saying people don't have a right to know, but, sometimes, a reporter's thirst for the scoop has led to the wrong person being identified as the victim, or a family member finding out from the media that their loved one is gone. And, either of those situations sound brutal to me.
I've also always had issue with reporters converging on funeral services, striving to get the picture of a dazed mourner, or the wails of a widow. I've never covered a funeral as part of my job, and, unless it is a public ceremony for a dignitary, I never will. There is a time and place for everything, and a funeral is not the time for interviews and reporters doing live stand-ups.
I believe in the right of people being informed; to be fully aware of what's going on in their communities, governments, etc. But, I don't believe we need to be privy to every aspect of someone's life, just because they are the victim of a crime or accident. I respect the right to know -- but, I also respect the right to privacy, as people deal with life-altering, tragic circumstances.
I imagine some of my fellow newsies will be offended -- and that's fine, because people have different opinions, and I believe in that right, too.