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Thursday, 27 October 2016


A distraught family is mourning the loss of a loved one, after a terror attack in northeastern Kenya. A crew from a local media house is filming and asking questions about the victim. A composed family friend shares the information requested. But the mother of the victim can still be heard wailing. An insensitive media yet again puts a news story above the privacy needs of a grieving family.

What informs the urgency to cover such stories, and why can't the affected families be spared the media glare, so soon after learning about the death of one of their own?

It is utterly cruel for the journalists to not even have the courtesy to stop rolling their camera, until the victim's mother is emotionally stable.

Moreover, any kind of discussion about the victim in her earshot, is bound to augment the trauma being experienced by the grieving mother.

Couldn't the interview be conducted away from the distressed mother?

In any case, it is highly probable that whatever the family friend is saying to the reporter, does not register much with a viewer, because it is just not human to ignore the sounds of a weeping mother.

For me, it's as if the reporter here was trying to downplay the pain of the victim's mother, in trying to get details about the final moments of the victim.

Just as Joe Hight so accurately observes in the Colorado Springs Gazette:
"Most victims or victims' relatives face a wall of grief in the aftermath of a death or disaster....They don't see into the past or future; they see the present and feel the pain of the moment"
Fellow scribes, follow this principle and desist from blatantly violating the grieving space.

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