“On June 9, a dead body was found in a river in Des Moines River, Iowa. It was identified to be Kathlynn Shepard, a 15 year old girl who was kidnapped by a convicted sex offender.
“Although ABC News did not include an obscene or scantily clad photo of the victim, there was a huge undated photo of Kathlynn seen in the write-up.
“Several news reports both abroad and in the country have issued similar reports, including photos of victims and mostly suspects. However, I don’t think it was ethical to post a picture of a minor, especially online where information is more open and accessible. Even if the crime story is a very interesting case, compared from the usual reports we hear and read, journalists should essentially be able to recognize the right to dignity of victims, especially if they are killed.
“Not only was it inappropriate to post Kathlynn’s picture but publishing her name was clearly unethical, regardless of the consent of the family to post such. According to the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, a journalist ought to “exercise caution in publishing names of minors and women involved in criminal cases so that they may not unjustly lose their standing in society.” The writer should have just created a pseudonym for the victim or described her as a “15 year old girl” and not published her photo. More than getting a good story, respect for the victims should be more prioritized. It shouldn’t even be debated on; it’s just plain common sense.
“abcnews.go.com/US/body-found-river-identified-missing-iowa-girl-kathlynn”. Posted by Mischa