Suicide photo leaves bad taste

12 November 2018 | Opinion

The Editors’ Forum of Namibia (EFN) condemned the online publication of a suicide photo by Informanté.

The forum expressed its dismay with the publication of the photo depicting murder accused Ivan Pitt of Swakopmund hanging from the ceiling in the garage of the house where he allegedly murdered Lindie Prinsloo.

EFN said in a statement that although Informanté is not a signed up member of the organisation, the graphic nature of the published content constitutes unethical and insensitive journalism which brings the Namibian media in general disrepute with its readers and online audience.

“It cannot be argued that this was published neither in the public interest nor to raise awareness. It seems the only aim was to sensationalise this breaking news post and the use of graphic content to gain more clicks. Irrespective of what the accused allegedly did, he was a father, son and family member loved by those close to him.”

The EFN referred to clauses 4 and 12 in Chapter 1 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Namibian print, broadcast and online media and pointed out that the Informanté post did not give the necessary care and consideration to the feelings and dignity of the bereaved family. Neither was a prominent warning given that the content is graphic and inappropriate for certain audiences.

The forum also emphasised the importance of responsible journalism in which journalists maintain the highest standard for credibility and keeping the trust of the public as it is spelt out in the preamble of the Code of Ethics and Conduct.

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