Fatalities in the Press - Why?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by RFUK, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. I'm sure there's some perfectly rational reason for it, but why must the MoD & press publish that British servicepeople have been killed before releasing their names?

    Every time I hear a report, my mind begins racing and on top of the obvious sadness I feel that anyone has fallen, I can't help but dread that it may be someone I'm close to.

    I don't see that releasing details of incidents early does anything but cause considerable worry and distress amongst the thousands of families and friends who are awaiting the return of their loved ones.

  2. Because no one wants to find out that their loved was killed from some blogger.
    The process of casualty notification should be dignified and not come from some random source.
  3. I think you misunderstand my point. What I'm asking is why are details of fatalities released at all, until the families have been informed? It seems the releasing details of fatalities before their names does nothing but increase the heartache for friends and family of all those in theatre.
  4. That's a very good question. It really doesn't help that much
  5. RFUK, I do get your point. Most times, the unit name, location and type of mission will be released. This does unneccesarily prolong the pain.
  6. In an ideal world nothing would be released at all until the families have been informed, however we now live in a world with the internet, global news on satellite etc etc. I expect (I am a bit rusty on this) that it is better to get some accurate information in the press early, and then full details later. The other option is widely inaccurate information in the world press and internet which would cause more distress.
  7. RFUK,

    Your spot on mate. I have a friend whose son is in AFG and she went through hell yesterday after hearing that there was casualties. Until proper confirmation came through. Families are going through enough stress without the media adding to it.
    Perhaps nothing should be said at all-UNTIL NOK have been informed?
  8. this i totally agree with, and in my view the best way to deal with these issues.
    NOK should always be informed first, then details released to the media for publication.
  9. I went through a dreadful time earlier in the week when they released around dinner time that two soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and NOK not informed. Didnt find out till evening that NOK were now informed. What a truely awful day that was - so so worried. Then comes a huge sense of relief that it wasnt my son quickly followed by guilt that I was so pleased. There is no way that ANY news should be released before NOK have been informed, I guess the press dont realise just how distressful it is for parents who have children out there, well anyone who has a loved one out there. All news sources the other day were reporting that NOK not informed except for SKY news online who were saying they were until they changed it later on.
  10. I was briefed before a tour that the press are not notified until the family has been informed, to prevent the aweful lottery situation. That being the case soldiers were told to brief family of that aspect of the process.
  11. Was watching Sky News one morning about a bomb that had gone off in NI. It showed the scene, then they said exactly where and what unit. Watched it for about 10 mins thinking, 'my brother is there, in that unit' - then the phone rang.

    Maybe it's just me, but I imagine it must be worse for those who hear nothing. Have a friend in AFG at the moment and it feels much worse not knowing for sure until hours later. That awful feeling of relief, then guilt at being pleased it wasn't him.
  12. "I'm sure there's some perfectly rational reason for it, but why must the MoD & press publish that British servicepeople have been killed before releasing their names?"

    The problem is that word rapidly leaks out - often by accident - as a lot of places both in the UK and foreign HQ's need to be notified very quickly when someone's been killed. As such its easier to say that someone has been killed - usually though they've made contact with NOK by this point. Its quite unusual (relatively speaking) to make the announcement until this point.
  13. A damn good point RFUK. Is there a press command centre at the MOD that can be approached about this matter?
    And the thing is all civilians who have absoloutly no connection to the military at all would be quite happy to wait till later to hear about something they couldn't do anything about anyway, if he helped relieve stress on those connected!

    This is a rare occasion when most people would agree that they don't need to hear the latest news until it is appropriate to release it.
  14. I think the incident is only reported after families have been informed. This means that you get the knock before you even know anybody has been killed.