Barely arrested, not convicted - Here's the adress

The very first thing I learned as a journalist was that I should never, ever, ever put someone's name and picture in the paper if that person has not been convicted for the crime he or she commited or without permission. The three biggest evening papers did that once and it was a huge deal.

It is not a law but it is under the guidelines for tv, press and radio and is taken somewhat serious by the media.

 When the three papers went togheter and published a serie of photos and names of the 100 most dangerous wanted persons in Sweden, media history was made. I remember that my teacher in junior high taped up the pages on the wall, displaying its importance for everyone of us. We had discussions in class about media ethics and wheter this was the right thing to do or not. Because even thought they are criminals who done terrible things, they are still humans who have the right to their privacy and as long as they haven't done anything in the near present, is it right to post their name and photo in the paper for everyone to see and judge?

When it comes to victims and people who are not criminals, the media is very careful and sensetive about names and pictures. There has been some scandals and there are more pictures and names nowdays than before and it happens more often that a newspaper crosses the line and get convicted for breaking the guidelines. (The guidelines are written by the media and those newspapers, tv and radio- stations that agreed to follow the guidelines can be convicted if a commite find that they broke one of them and they have to pay a fee and publish an excuse in their media)

In Johnson ciy press, they post photo, name and adress of people that just got arrested and people who just died in an accident. I react every time and to me, that is bad press ethics.


Comment entry:

Remember me?