Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | August 26, 2011

taking a stand

Today,  a line has been drawn.

A line between myself and the media (media and me, media and I….)

Reporters have been clambering to speak with the man in Australia who lost his family in a house fire (11 died, including his wife and four children, and the rest were related).

I’m not going to tell you his name, because that would mean going to the news websites to get it and I won’t.

TVNZ lost me for the whole bulletin tonight because they led with him talking to a press conference (I use the term “talking” lightly as you can imagine how racked with grief he was).

It takes me back to when a reporter asked a man from Aramoana, who survived David Gray’s gun but lost several members of his family in 1990, how he felt. His reply? How the *&%^%$ do you think I feel?” That has been in my book of reporter-don’ts for years.

Not sure if I have told you this story on rivettingkatetaylor before but a local policeman died in an accident when I was 21 (he was early 20s too) and I was told to contact the grandparents who had raised him for comment. This type of reporting has always bugged me. So I phoned one of the senior detectives and explained my plight. UNtil then, the police hadn’t commented. But he had no hesitation in giving me two 15-second quotes to keep the hounds off my back and to keep us out of the grandparents home.

The Australian fire deaths story was up on the home page of one news website this afternoon and the headline I saw before I clicked away was something about him being supported by his family as he dealt with the press.

Why the hell should he have to?

I’ll answer that, shall I?

He bloody shouldn’t.

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Responses

  1. The media too often forgets the difference between what’s in the public interest and what the public’s interested in.

    This is an awful story and the public is interested in it but that doesn’t give reporters the right to intrude on private people’s grief.


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