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"Police have not confirmed reports that....."

(9 Posts)
meditrina Mon 15-Aug-11 07:16:21

I've just seen a report on BBC about the horrible murders in St Helier.

And was astonished that BBC have used the phrase "the BBC have not confirmed reports that they were Polish". I am cross about this - if it's not confirmed, why are the BBC reporting it at all?

It's only about 14 hours since this horrible event happened - what is the rush to report rumour? Even when the police are keeping quiet, the press are insatiable. It's not remotely helpful. The reporter then went on about identities of the deceased, possibly from one family, will not be released until the next of kin had been informed and this might take some time if they are in Poland. Why did they need to add their possible location? It's just not necessary. When identities are released, it'll still be news. Pre-emptive reporting just adds pressure to the news cycle generally, and cannot be helpful.

Very sad to hear about that family, and condolences to their family whoever and wherever they may be.

ToothbrushThief Mon 15-Aug-11 07:25:28

A tragic event.
Yesterday I read that they 'may have been of North African' origin. I'd question the significance of reporting origin, ethnic background at all?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Aug-11 07:26:38

It's valid news. On-the-spot reporters are there to relay information, eye-witness accounts etc. In a small community, neighbours are going to say with some certainty 'they were a Polish family'... but the police have to be 100% certain before they confirm or deny anything. I don't think the BBC is in the wrong at all. It's a dreadful and highly unusual event and people want to know what's going on.

olivo Mon 15-Aug-11 08:40:30

It is a small community and word has spread very fast locally (I am from Jersey). Neighbours have spoken to the press and they would know their nationality; I dont think they are wrong to report what eye witnesses have said, whether or not it has been confirmed.

God rest their soulds, thsoe poor, poor people.

meditrina Mon 15-Aug-11 12:07:57

It may well be well-sourced, and it may well indeed prove accurate.

But I find it very unfortunate that there is now an expectation of rapid news, as that is fertile ground for speculation ahead of facts (in this case, the north African connexion). Reporting based on incomplete information is unlikely to be harmful in this case, but it is all to easy to think if examples where it has been, or indeed where the expectation of rapid information has in itself been.

ThePosieParker Mon 15-Aug-11 12:09:29

I heard Polish, but what that's got to do with anything god knows. Perhaps it's to not ruin the reputation of a very peaceful little place. Well peaceful since Bergerac cleaned the place up.

Terrible terrible tragedy.

meditrina Mon 15-Aug-11 13:39:14

I've just seen the lunchtime news.

The police have confirmed 6 deaths, one man, two women and three children (the youngest of whom was only 18 months old) sad

They are from two families, and the police have now confirmed that one is of Polish origin (not sure they've said anything about the other).

ilovesprouts Mon 15-Aug-11 18:54:35

so sad sad

Feminine Wed 17-Aug-11 02:33:52

My family are from Jersey ,I am so shocked to hear this...

sad

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