Thursday, 16 June 2011

Distasteful reporting by Essex Chronicle

This post is an email I sent today to the editorial team at Essex Chronicle following their appalling front page article headlined "Safety calls after veteran is killed on danger road".
It shows a huge photograph of the scene of a fatal road traffic collision which happened on Friday June 10, 2011. The photograph clearly shows the car which hit a 74-year-old pedestrian who lies dead in front of the car covered by a white sheet.

I am lodging a complaint about the awful lack of taste regarding the photograph on the front page of the Essex Chronicle this week (June 16, 2011).
How you can find it acceptable to print a huge colour photograph of a dead man in the street having just been killed by a dangerous driver is beyond me.  What I find even more vulgar is that you have printed an inset photo of Mr Haile on the same page which instantly puts a face to the body laying below the sheet in the photo.  You even have the bad taste to pixelate the driver in the passenger seat of the car whilst leaving Mr. Haile's body clearly on display.
I understand that you have justified the publication of this photograph by saying you have sought the permission of Mr Haile's family and that you also claim to have  requested the view of 100 people in Chelmsford town centre who are said to have approved of the photo.  The very fact that you went to such degrees to try and justify your decision shows how close to the mark you must have known the decision to have been.  I don't believe for a minute that you sought any views and I would be surprised if you could provide any evidence that this ever took place.
Regardless of this, you have shown yourselves to be totally unprofessional, irresponsible and uncaring to all those people who live in Springfield and those who knew Mr Haile.  I took the decision not to have The Essex Chronicle delivered the same week the editor changed which must have been more than four years ago.  The quality of journalism and the sensationalist nature of the editing is beyond belief. I now get my local news from reliable sources online - namely the BBC website and BBC Essex. I would urge others in Essex to abandon The Essex Chronicle and use the web to deliver yourself a selection of news sources including the agencies who can report 'first hand' what the facts are without the sensationalist flannel provided by the local rag.
What a shame such a respected and historic publication which proudly quotes "Making Local Matter More since 1764" has dropped to such a level.


Anonymous said...

Well Said

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, I too have been a victim of such insensitive reporting even tho we requested that we would prefer them not to during our grief, still they made it front page news. We, our family & friends have never purchased their paper since.