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Stop publishing articles on the identities of the victims of the KyoAni Studio Fire


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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
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Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:32 am Reply with quote
Dont understand why there is a need to keep the victims and such secret and hidden as we owe it to the victims to not forget them but to remember them and highlight their contributions to the field and to their family and community.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Яeverse wrote:
Dont understand why there is a need to keep the victims and such secret and hidden as we owe it to the victims to not forget them but to remember them and highlight their contributions to the field and to their family and community.


Well, in situations like this, it's standard journalism policy to not announce any deaths until they are announced either by the police or by the family of the victims.

There are a couple reasons for this:
1 - We don't want the family to learn about it from the newspaper. They deserve to know first.
2 - Unofficial sources might be wrong and any false reporting based on that could cause unnecessary anguish to the family.

All of this is extremely reasonable and I support it. I don't support journalists who go against this and try to scoop the official announcements. If the reports of journalists pestering funeral workers is true, those journalists are scum.

However, in this case, KyoAni is asking for journalists to do break established protool. They are asking journalists to disregard statements from the family and wait for KyoAni to announce the deaths after the funerals. It's not a normal request, and it puts us in an extremely tough position. It's not at all normal to wait until after the funeral to announce report on victims of a tragedy, especially victims of note. There are established guidelines on how to deal with tragedies, established by expert consensus from leaders in our field. Accepting KyoAni's request would be to disregard the established rules in a way that compromises the quality of our reporting.

It's an extremely tough situation for our reporters because they (we) love KyoAni so much (We interviewed them at AX, I have friends there).

Edit: When I say "it's not a normal request," I'm not suggesting that KyoAni should know what a "normal request" is. Given the situation, I don't think any request, regardless of whether it can be met, is unreasonable.


Last edited by Tempest on Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3108
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
However, in this case, KyoAni is asking for journalists to break established protocol. They are asking journalists to disregard statements from the family and wait for KyoAni to announce the deaths after the funerals.

Is it an abnormal request in Japan? I'd imagine journalists there might operate under a somewhat different set of ethical standards than those in the West.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:14 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
Is it an abnormal request in Japan? I'd imagine journalists there might operate under a somewhat different set of ethical standards than those in the West.


That's an extremely good question that I don't know the answer to. I have an assumption; based on Mainichi Shimbun's and Nikkei's decisions, I assume they operate under similar guidelines as us. But that's only an assumption, I'll try to find out.

*corrected mistake with media name.
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Dessa



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:17 pm Reply with quote
Яeverse wrote:
Dont understand why there is a need to keep the victims and such secret and hidden as we owe it to the victims to not forget them but to remember them and highlight their contributions to the field and to their family and community.


Interesting bit of history for you here. In the US, it is illegal for the media to release the names of victims before the families have been notified. The reason for this is the February 3, 1959 plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (JP Richardson). Being big-name musicians, the news reported their names, and Holly's wife heard about it that way, and the shock was enough for her to miscarry their child.

The plane crash has actually gone down in history as "The Day the Music Died," as memorialized in the song American Pie. In fact, the line "I can't remember if I cried when I heard about his widowed bride" is in reference to Holly's wife.

But because of this incident, the laws were changed so that the families had to be notified first.
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JMmelegrito



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
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Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:28 am Reply with quote
Whenever I'm watching The First 48, whether on A&E in the United States or somewhere else, the police always try their hardest to inform the families first, because they know that it would be much painful if they would simply be informed that their loved ones died while watching the news.

To be honest, I'm not really surprised that newspapers in Japan will go totally low, considering they typically look for the next big scandal everytime... but do these so-called journalists get incentives when they get a scoop?
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herongale



Joined: 01 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:56 pm Reply with quote
blkmage wrote:
It's certainly your right to disregard KyoAni's request and make the decision to publish whatever you decide to. But I would hope that the bar to decide what to publish and what not to publish goes beyond 'another outlet published it so it's okay'.

I'm not a journalist, but I understand that deciding whether to disregard their request, especially in the context of the Japanese media environment, would depend on whether it serves the public interest. In that sense, I really can't see what is so pressing and vital for your audience, especially for such a sensitive situation, that you felt you had to publish this immediately instead of waiting.


From the article itself, it says that the immediate family were initially telling friends and relatives that Naomi Ishida was safe, based on their own erroneous belief that she was working at the 2nd studio. It seems to me that the family wanted their own error corrected, so it's possible that they themselves reached out to the newspaper to make sure this happened. Even if it were the newspaper itself reaching out, the family's incentive for speaking out is pretty clear: they wanted friends and family to understand the actual facts, and probably (this is my assumption here) did not want to have to deal with the emotional burden of having misinformation spread through social networks they themselves participate in.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:43 am Reply with quote
evileye_theblocker wrote:
To be honest, I'm not really surprised that newspapers in Japan will go totally low, considering they typically look for the next big scandal everytime... but do these so-called journalists get incentives when they get a scoop?
It's very good for a journalists career to bring in scoops. They are incentivized in a variety of ways, if they're freelance their stories get picked up and they get a paycheck. If they're staff, it's just "job well done," and contributes to them staying staff and future promotions. But of course, if it's found that they acted unethically, it can also hurt their career. Something extremely egregrious could result in a journalist losing their job, or in editors no longer wanting to work with a particular freelancer.
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nobahn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:33 am Reply with quote
Tempest

Today I was reading a piece on www.politico.com which linked to this article that was edited by Matthew Kassel. As I read the last section of that article, I couldn't help but be reminded of your post. If you don't mind, I'm going to quote that section of the article that is written by Mosi Secret, who is ─ amongst other things ─ a freelance journalist.
Mosi Secret wrote:
A few years ago, when I was a metro reporter for The New York Times, an editor sent me out to try to get an interview with a grieving mother, whose son had just shot and killed two New York City police officers before killing himself. The shootings happened not long after the killings of Eric Garner and Mike Brown by police, and there was the sense that maybe Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed the two cops in retaliation. It was the kind of news event that sends the press into a frenzy.

I drove to the mother’s house way out in Brooklyn and rang the buzzer. I knew that other reporters had been, and would be, way more aggressive than I wanted to be. When a man responded through the intercom that the mother wasn’t available, I politely gave him my name and left without trying to convince him to let me in. In my mind, the mother was grieving, even if her son had committed a despicable act. I didn’t tell my editors that I had given up so easily.

There is incredible pressure in these situations. The whole city is pressing for information. Funnel all of that desire into one or two editors who are constantly calling or emailing for updates. There is a feeling that we reporters are allowed to be less decent than we would be under other circumstances. But it really hit me when I was standing at that mother’s doorstep, when we are out in the field on our own, we are on our own—it’s just us and the person we hope to connect with. The interaction can be much more intimate than the news crush would have us believe. I try to preserve the humanity of that interaction. This anecdote has a happy ending, reporting-wise. I ended up getting the interview with the mother. When I called later, the man who answered the intercom and who was helping the mother to manage the press liked that I wasn’t so pushy.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1519
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:05 am Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Яeverse wrote:
Dont understand why there is a need to keep the victims and such secret and hidden as we owe it to the victims to not forget them but to remember them and highlight their contributions to the field and to their family and community.


Well, in situations like this, it's standard journalism policy to not announce any deaths until they are announced either by the police or by the family of the victims.


Kyoto Police have announced the identities of the others who have died as a result of the incident and some news outlets have published a full list and others have not.

Is ANN intending to mention or link to the full list and give tributes to the others?
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Spastic Minnow
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 02 May 2006
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Location: Gainesville, FL
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:20 am Reply with quote
^^^

Oddly, The announcement is mentioned in passing in this article but not the headline:
Kyoto Animation Official Online Store Reopens

I'm sure they'll put forward more substantive tributes when ready. The first batch of tributes were of high quality. They took time to write.
The wishes of the families are still debatable. At this time only five names are definitely cleared by families to be released.
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