Families before media

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Grad, Mar 17, 2007.

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  1. There has been a petition started to ask that the government insists on a media blackout of service deaths until the next of kin are informed. I think this is a necessary thing to happen and was shocked when I found it didn't happen already any support appreciated;

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/NOKinformed/
     
  2. Sorry wont sign it.

    I feel that the informing of service deaths are handled very well by the media and the military. The media only report there is a death not the name(s) of the dead. I think it is important that the British public be informed as quickly as possible when something happens.

    The petition is pointless and detracts from other more worthwhile petitions, this is starting to be petitions for petitions sake. (concept shouldn't be knew to the army as we have the register for registers).

    If however there has been a case where a casualties name has been released by the media this should be passed to the MOD as it is a clear security breach and the paper/newstation will be in the poop.
     
  3. with you there dingerr! well said.
     
  4. I think Dingerr is correct I was in 29 Cdo Regt and in the last 6 years we have lost 7 blokes on ops and more in accidents and in none of these cases were the names released to the media before the NOK were informed.

    Also i do believe our press is the best when it comes to supporting the miltary but i believe in this sort of thing they do respect the dead and the families!
     
  5. I saw a very interesting brief the other day about how casualties are handled on operations. Suffice to say that the whole process is far more organsied than before, and while it would be nice for the media to not report anything (why the media think people need to know NOW rather than in 12 hours time about a death, I don't know), on the whole it works well.
     
  6. The reason why they do report it so quick is due to the standard they set themselves in get upto date news out to the world. An element of competition with other news agencies helps i suppose. It re-awakens the public as to what the military has to go through and sacrifice otherwise they would just be filled with stories about Celebs and sportstars latest drug habit
     
  7. I know it is important to report - I just wonder what difference 12 hours makes, when someones dead for all eternity? How will it impact on 99.9% of the population?
     
  8. I think Grad and Jim30 have valid points. What difference does it make to the British population, if they dont have a loved one serving on ops at the time?

    As soon as the media report 'A British servicemen has been killed and three seriously injured...' every family member of someone out there serving panics.
    Think how they feel, after hearing that report, when the door bell rings, or the phone rings.

    I think the petition is a waste of time, not worth signing, but I do believe its wrong of the media...not that it will ever stop them.

    Ok, people at home might think'poor sods' but thats all, its hardly relevant as said to 99.9% of people at home.
     
  9. Ditto.

    The report of a dead or wounded soldiers causes so many to wonder, and worry. Not to mention the slightly sordid feeling you get when the "thank god" moment arrives that it is not one of yours.

    The delay in broadcasting wouldn't be that long, as the system moves swiftly, the moment the NOK have been informed and the family are sorted, realease the fact. It would give the journos plenty of time to sort their story.

    The Name can be realeased when teh family wish it, if at all.

    Most of the population are just going to put more dinner in their mouth anyway and wonder what Jade Goody is doing now. A few unconnected souls will prey or similary think of those affected and a few will have their world ripped apart. A few extra hours and minutes will affect nothing.
     
  10. dingerr I get what you are saying but when my hubby went to Iraq last year one of the last things he said to me was;

    "Don't worry about roadside bombs cos of the job I am doing I will be travelling mainly by helicopter"

    The first incident to happen after he went out there was the helicopter crash in which 6 of our troops were killed. While the sensible part of me knew it was highly unlikely he was on the copter those words went through my head over and over and I was terrified of the doorbell ringing. I stopped watching the news because the feeling of complete terror it brings whenever you hear of some-one killed where your loved one is stationed.
    Hubby has just left as part of the 12th Mech and I know this time will be the same. I won't be able to watch the news because every time a service death is reported you worry until a name is released that you will get a knock on the door. Then when a name is released you feel guilty because some-one has lost a loved one and you were rejoicing that it wasn't your's while they were suffering because it was their's.
     
  11. In the era of global media this would be impossible to enforce. Al Jazeera are hardly going to pay any attention to a UK Government edict are they? Given the ability for anybody with a camera phone to be an on-the-spot journalist, being able to control the media is simply not realistic. I agree with Dingerr that, in general, the UK media is pretty good at simply reporting the death, rather than unnecessary detail. Frankly, my far bigger concern when this was my job was ensuring that names did not leak via unofficial military sources, rather than via the media.

    I have a huge sympathy for Grad's predicament and this was something that vexed us a lot with regard to allowing the 'don't worry darling it wasn't me' phonecall. I took the fairly hard line that it was better for hundreds of families to endure some nervewracking hours and then get the good news late than for one family to get the bad news early and in the wrong way.