Kay Burley - insensitive and sensationalist about April Jones?Follow @jamescridland
Was Kay Burley's decision to break the news to volunteers that April Jones's family "don't expect to find her alive" the right one?
Unsurprisingly, the people who had given up their time to search for the missing child, were stunned: and didn't manage too much of a response.
Is this rolling news coverage at its worst? Or, by asking the question live on Sky News, did the viewing public understand the full enormity of the family's heartbreak?
Watch the full video here:
James Cridland is the Managing Director of Media UK, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.
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It was not the journalist’s job to break that sort of news – that is down to the police. And as for ‘the viewing public understand the full enormity of the family’s heartbreak?’ – no one can ever understand that sort of heartbreak unless they have been through it.
Far be it for me to back up Kay Burley, but James’ posting above is actually rather disingenous. The clip posted is far from the “full” video but is actually a carefully timed edit. A second clip, starting from two minutes beforehand is here:
In it you can see that the news of the murder investigation is discussed by Burley and the reporter as something that has been broken to the family the previous evening, and it is safe to presume that they were made aware the developpment before the police gave a news conference announcing it. The tearful woman on the right was standing off camera during the two-way with the reporter, had been commenting beforehand and was invited back into the discussion as someone who had been forewarned of the situation, although the emotion of it hit her and she struggled to participate further.
The left hand woman in the hi-vis jacket actually barged into shot and asked “what’s happened, we’ve been out searching and not heard”, meaning that Burley had little choice but to break the news to her live on television. Had the lady restrained herself and spoken to people standing nearby rather than wanting her moment of glory, the unfortunate circumstance of being told bad news and being asked to comment on it directly would not have arisen.
Tell that to the Daily Mail or twitter-based hysterics though…
What James said.
I don’t really know what she could have done differently in the circumstances. Patently she couldn’t have just ignored the woman who burst in to the shot, and to have not explained the situation and then proceeded to do a live two way about it would, I think, have been rather more insensitive.
Interestingly, I notice that the articles which had previously carried the shorter (and rather misleading) edit now seem to have replaced that video with the longer version…
I with Ann on this one, Kay should have known better. Maybe Kay needs a job with police!
if it was news there is no problem…this wasn’t an official statement from the cops…it wasn’t that they found a body…it was the feeling expressed by police and as such was a news story and should have been reported…stop being so sentimental…i’m more interested to know what the cops have on the suspect.
I actually watched this live – Kay was the consummate professional here.
She initially asked that lady if she’d “heard the news” and she replied that she had – it later transpired she hadn’t and therefore Kay had little option but to tell her.
It was a piece of top class jourmalism in my opinion and did indeed serve to further highlight the gravity of the situation.