Originally created 08/01/98

Hits 'tabloid-esque' coverage of grief 080198 - The Augusta Chronicle

During the past year or so, to my horror, I have noticed our local television news teams covering local tragedies in the most "tabloid-esque" manner possible. I recall seeing the grief-stricken family of the woman who drunkenly drove her grandchildren-laden vehicle into the path of a school bus. The local news team stuck their cameras and microphones into family members' visages and inanely asked them "how they felt".

I remember feeling indignant that these people should intrude on the grieving family. They were taking advantage of the family's grief by turning their mourning into a media circus only to boost "ratings."

How important is it to showcase people's tragedy? The victim's families haven't even had a chance to bury the dead, let alone mourn their loss. For what are these media people selling their souls? To sell more cars for a client?

Some victims' families wish to ensure the tragedy does not occur to others -- a very brave and honorable stance. However, please allow the family a decent interval of time before hounding them for an interview. Common decency (in this day and time) is a rare commodity indeed.

News teams be forewarned: If tragedy strikes my family or friends, don't come calling. I guarantee that you will eat your microphone, followed directly by your cameras.

W. C. Paschal, Evans

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