Protect Dawn and Meredith

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recently a trainer, Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld was killed when the killer whale she was working with suddenly grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the water. Cameras at SeaWorld captured two different angles, but neither camera captured the entire event.

SeaWorld joined forces with the Brancheau family this week to try and keep photos and the videos of Dawn’s death out of the public eye. They are concern that members of the media will be able to gain access to the videos if they become part of an investigative file with law enforcement.

Lisa Bloom a legal analyst for CNN stated on CNN.com “In fact, Florida's broad laws regarding access to public documents creates a great likelihood of such a possibility. As a general rule, matters of a police file are public record, and the media has access to contents of a police file. Most mainstream media are not going to broadcast someone being killed or someone's remains, but it's a matter of having that access to decide how to use it," Bloom said.

Another story that relates to this is the '>Meredith Emerson story. A reporter for Hustler magazine requested pictures of the crime scene for a story that they were doing on Meredith. The pictures showed Emerson’s nude and decapitated body. A judge blocked the request for these pictures, Hustler magazine is searching for options available if they choose to push this further.

3 comments:

Staci Mead March 23, 2010 at 4:23 PM  

I am horrified that the media would even think about releasing that footage and sickened that Hustler wants the photographs of a woman's mutilated body. How awful has our curiosity gotten that we'd be willing to traumatize these families further by subjecting them to MORE media spotlight highlighting their pain? It reminds me of when Saddam Hussein was executed and there was footage all over the internet. There are things in life you can't "unsee" and I don't think the media needs to perpetrate these images.

Michelle Pohlad March 23, 2010 at 7:00 PM  

I agree with Leslie and Staci. It's exactly this kind of media sensationalism that is causing kids to become desensitized to violence. It is becoming common place to see these gruesome scenes. I know that First Amendment rights are important, but a responsible journalist cannot possibly find journalistic value in a decapitated body.

mejinksed March 24, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

In news stories, it is important to know all the facts. We know that the woman was killed after the whale drug her in by her ponytail. All of the facts of this story were reported. We do not need to see the video to better understand the situation, or to gather more information. Showing the video of her death would be completely inappropriate. Besides, why would anyone want to watch this poor woman die? Who really wants to see the video?

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