Posted by: Ciaran | April 14, 2010

Harsh realities

I went to my first ever inquest this morning, and it brought home very starkly – and maybe for the first time – exactly what Jeremy Bowen meant when he told us: “What may be a great day for us as journalists is probably the worst day of someone else’s life, or even the final day of their life.”

It wasn’t necessarily a great day for journalism today, as the five inquests were not massive news stories, but it was a very sad day for the families of those who had died and were being forced to relive (or hear for the first time) very graphic descriptions of the demise of their loved ones.

But I didn’t feel like an intruder, and when one woman came over and say that her brother’s death should be kept out of the papers I felt sympathetic towards her yet I felt strongly the importance of the freedom of the press to be in courts, and inquests, and meetings. Yes, the reporting should be considerate and sensitive – but there should be no barrier to being there.

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