Some media broadcast the cellphone video of a man suspected of stabbing and killing a teenage girl and wounding another Tuesday at a high school in Abbotsford.
Others shared just an audio clip of the screams.
Warnings preceded them.
Police requested that neither be posted, and for people to stop sharing them.
Not all complied.
It is easy to be critical of media that did not follow along.
No doubt such decisions were made with much deliberation.
But no good could come from sharing them.
At worst, they are a painful reminder to those closest to the two girls, 13 and 14 years old, respectively.
A 21-year-old man of no fixed address has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed earlier reports that the stabbings were random.
The suspect was not wearing shoes.
So what can be learned by sharing the video or audio? What is the benefit?
For media, in such a competitive era, viewers equate to dollars.
So there is motive.
But you risk losing followers if you insult their sensibilities.
First and foremost, media must be fair and respectful, not to mention consider presumed innocence and the age of those involved.
Many people were angry at media for showing the video and shared such feelings on social media.
“This video is a trigger to trauma,” wrote one.
“This is what makes people hate the media,” said another.
No argument for censorship can be made here, as there is nothing apparent that could have stopped the stabbings. The suspect was already in custody.
There is no defense.
Media that broadcast the video and audio failed to adhere to basic values, and in doing so lost the public’s trust, and the ability to engage.
How do you gain that back?
– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News