The Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) has sent an open letter to media managers calling on them to “exercise sound ethical judgment” in the broadcast and publication of material on fatalities.
Their call comes after a number of television stations broadcast footage of mangled bodies in a vehicular accident in that country on Tuesday.
The media advocacy body said it is aware of the importance of publishing fair and accurate stories but added that ethical judgement in the publication of these stories is just as important.
“MWAG is aware that media houses here do not necessarily have documented code of ethics that they subscribe and adhere to. However, we believe ethics in the media are just as important as being fair accurate and balanced on issues.”
Two brothers Kareem and Dellon Peters met their untimely deaths on the Western side of the island on Tuesday morning as they made their way to work. A police report said the vehicle they were traveling in ran over a cliff in Perseverance area and plunged 250-feet landing in the sea in Halifax Bay.
The bodies of the men and the vehicle were discovered around midday on Tuesday by a local fisherman, you notified the police.
Television reports that evening showing the bodies of the men still trapped in the car, sparked public outrage and discussion on Facebook.
In response MWAG said despite the fact that there are no legal guidelines for displaying such footage, media practitioners should be sensitive to the families who have to deal with such tragic loss.
“Even if we have a responsibility to provide coverage, in small societies like ours there is a greater need to exercise discretion on reporting sensitive and traumatic issues.”
“We therefore urge that media houses exercise sound ethical judgment, especially so as not to cause undue stress and burden to persons who have lost loved ones in circumstances that warrant media coverage.”©