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


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NickPenrhyn



Joined: 19 Jun 2014
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:15 pm Reply with quote
KyoAni has publicly requested police and media refrain from publishing the identities of injured and deceased employees and have no intentions of making an announcement until their funerals are over.
https://twitter.com/soukatsu_/status/1153978033126219776

Publishing this article and any similar articles in the future directly goes against the wishes of Kyoto Animation, their employees, family, and police. It is scummy as hell, even if it was reported by Mainichi Shimbun, the information was likely acquired by pestering families in the race for scoops.

People are still grieving. This is a disgrace.
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MCAL



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:09 pm Reply with quote
It's amazing that ANN can't get this one simple thing right.
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Kastel



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:22 pm Reply with quote
please accept my constructive feedback
my constructive feedback is that
"scoops at the expense of the feelings of victims and their families are unethical" Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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Kastel



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 172
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:02 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Quote:
Editor's Note: ANN's stance on the announcement of those who died or were injured in the fire has been to wait until the police or Kyoto Animation have released the names officially, instead of relying on unofficial sources. However, as the below article states, the parents of the victim themselves confirmed the death with a trustworthy media outlet. We have decided to respect the decision of the victim's closest relatives to go public with the confirmation of the victim's death, over the wishes of Kyoto Animation, who have yet to release the names of the victims.


Does the wishes of Kyoto Animation override the wishes of immediate family?


only if these are indeed the wishes of the family and not the unethical attempts of acquiring information through harassment
which is very common in japanese mass media journalism
i want to know first if

1) ANN actually did confirm with the family in question with these wishes to go public
2) how did mainichi shinbun figure out who is the victim and who is their family
3) if ANN actually contacted mainichi shinbun to see if this was an ethical acquisition of knowledge and verified that this was indeed a fair interview and not at all a badgering of the victims and their families
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 1846
Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Your questions are valid.

Putting out a post on social media asking your followers to "spam us until Kingdom Come" is not.

I've gone ahead and linked this forum topic to the News team in the hopes they might be able to answer your questions.
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flimsy_sur



Joined: 25 Jul 2019
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:28 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Putting out a post on social media asking your followers to "spam us until Kingdom Come" is not.

I hope you're aware that putting quotation marks around something normally implies that it's something somebody actually said? This is quite a misleading comment.

I hesitated to voice my concerns about this article directly to ANN given that it meant making an account on a website I'm unlikely to use again, but I figure that providing criticism is important enough. It is bit messed up to be posting such an article before Kyoto Animation officially confirm anything, and particularly strange wording to say you are "respecting the decision" of the deceased's family. I can't imagine that they and KyoAni are two forces that are particularly likely to have conflicting viewpoints over this situation, so surely one doesn't have to be chosen over the other. The article even notes that what you are doing is going against the wishes of KyoAni. So why?
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:34 pm Reply with quote
Sorry, "spam the [expletive] feedback forum until Kingdom Come".
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 9626
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:47 pm Reply with quote
Kastel wrote:

i want to know first if

1) ANN actually did confirm with the family in question with these wishes to go public


1) Would require our staff to contact the family. On one hand you say "they shouldn't be contacted," on the other hand you want us to contact them to confirm that they did indeed wish for this information to be released ? I assume it's a trap? If we contacted them, you'd criticize us for contacting them; if we hadn't contacted them, you'd criticize us for not contacting them.

ANN operates to North American journalistic standards. Directly from our ethics advisor today on this very issue, "In general, I would not release the names of victims saying they are dead until you know for sure and it’s been verified either from an official source (police, fire, government, hospital, etc.) OR of their family has confirmed it with you directly or posted something on social media, sent a press release, etc." The follow up question was, whether a trustworthy major news-outlet quoting the family would qualify. "If you would want to quote or report what another new sources is saying, I think that is fine, I would just make sure you feel strongly that the information can be trusted and that you properly source the information as having come from that publication." Our advisor was made aware that their employer (KyoAni) had requested that names not be made public before an official announcement, but that didn't factor into her opinion on the matter.

Our ethics advisor is a member of the ethics committee at the Society for Professional Journalists, they know what they are doing, and they are experts in this.

There was a debate internally about publishing information about the multiple victims who have had details reported. Some people argued very vehemently on each side. On one side respecting the privacy and the wishes of KyoAni, and on the other side respecting our responsibility as journalists to publish information that we know to be true.

Ultimately we decided to publish the name of the one confirmed deceased because it was confirmed by their direct family to a reputable news outlet.

I respect that you do not agree with the decision, but please understand that it is not a decision we took lightly, and that, due to nature of the issue, we sought out the advice of our ethics advisor. You may disagree with their advice to us, but I hope you understand that we will defer to the expert advice we are given.

I know you hate ANN and regularly criticize us on Twitter, so I'm certain none of this will change your opinion of us, but I hope you at least understand that we're doing the best we can to balance opposing responsibilities: to report on what we know to be true, while also seeking to minimize any harm that may come from our reporting.

Christopher Macdonald
CEO & Publisher
Anime News Network

Edit: I also want to add that covering this tragedy has been exceptionally hard for ANN. Several of us, myself included, know people who worked in that building. KyoAni has created works that are extremely close to our hearts. One of our staff had to take the day off from covering this last week because he simply couldn't continue. The point is, we aren't mainstream journalists who care only about covering the news and getting our scoop; we care deeply about KyoAni, and we're as pained by this as any fan.


Last edited by Tempest on Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NickPenrhyn



Joined: 19 Jun 2014
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:09 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Kastel wrote:

i want to know first if

1) ANN actually did confirm with the family in question with these wishes to go public


1) Would require our staff to contact the family. On one hand you say "they shouldn't be contacted," on the other hand you want us to contact them to confirm that they did indeed wish for this information to be released ? I assume it's a trap? If we contacted them, you'd criticize us for contacting them; if we hadn't contacted them, you'd criticize us for not contacting them.

ANN operates to North American journalistic standards. Directly from our ethics advisor today on this very issue, "In general, I would not release the names of victims saying they are dead until you know for sure and it’s been verified either from an official source (police, fire, government, hospital, etc.) OR of their family has confirmed it with you directly or posted something on social media, sent a press release, etc." The follow up question was, whether a trustworthy major news-outlet quoting the family would qualify. "If you would want to quote or report what another new sources is saying, I think that is fine, I would just make sure you feel strongly that the information can be trusted and that you properly source the information as having come from that publication." Our advisor was made aware that their employer (KyoAni) had requested that names not be made public before an official announcement, but that didn't factor into her opinion on the matter.

Our ethics advisor is a member of the ethics committee at the Society for Professional Journalists, they know what they are doing, and they are experts in this.

There was a debate internally about publishing information about the multiple victims who have had details reported. Some people argued very vehemently on each side. On one side respecting the privacy and the wishes of KyoAni, and on the other side respecting our responsibility as journalists to publish information that we know to be true.

Ultimately we decided to publish the name of the one confirmed deceased because it was confirmed by their direct family to a reputable news outlet.

I respect that you do not agree with the decision, but please understand that it is not a decision we took lightly, and that, due to nature of the issue, we sought out the advice of our ethics advisor. You may disagree with their advice to us, but I hope you understand that we will defer to the expert advice we are given.

I know you hate ANN and regularly criticize us on Twitter, so I'm certain none of this will change your opinion of us, but I hope you at least understand that we're doing the best we can to balance opposing responsibilities: to report on what we know to be true, while also seeking to minimize any harm that may come from our reporting.

Christopher Macdonald
CEO & Publisher
Anime News Network


Thank you for the swift responses. I don't have a beef with anyone personally, this is just about the decision to publish the information itself. I don't care about any perceived 'gotcha' strategy.

I still disagree with this decision because of the current media environment overseas: while the family did interview with Mainichi Shimbun, it is likely to drastically increase the pressure the newspapers put on the other victims to make statements instead of respect their privacy by waiting until the time the police and KyoAni have agreed upon. I don't want to see the victims become re-victimized.

The rectification itself would be very easy: hold off on publishing this until (probably not very long from now) everyone - families, police and the company - will be on board and ready for this inevitable pressure. It won't be a secret forever, just at least respect the grace period they have requested.
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 284
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:16 am Reply with quote
Two things utterly infuriate me about this; the first is the fact you actually include the statement from Kyoto Animation saying they weren't going to reveal the name of the deceased until all of the funerals were over, and worse, ANN took the decision to NOT publish the name of the suspect in custody of the arson attack. It feels like you're protecting the suspect and insulting the relatives of the victims (I know this wasn't the intention). This just beggars belief. I'm not sure how victims of crimes are reported in the US, but generally over here the media do not report the victims names until the police publicly release them.
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nobahn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:39 am Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Our ethics advisor is a member of the ethics committee at the Society for Professional Journalists, they know what they are doing, and they are experts in this.
Kudos to ANN! Cool
Greboruri wrote:
Two things utterly infuriate me about this; [...] and worse, ANN took the decision to NOT publish the name of the suspect in custody of the arson attack. It feels like you're protecting the suspect and insulting the relatives of the victims (I know this wasn't the intention). This just beggars belief. [...]
With the utmost respect, I disagree with your sentiment. I respectfully posit that actually naming the suspect gives the (alleged) murderer more of what he (allegedly) wanted: Publicity over the (alleged) mistreatment that he received from KyoAni. Also, please keep in mind that in Japanese culture that relatives of a criminal are often held to blame as well. Being in Australia, which is (relatively) close to far Eastern Asian cultures, I am surprised that you are (seemingly) unaware of this. Emotions are riding high right now and you being angry about everything associated with this horror is quite understandable. I wish you the best.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:20 am Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:
Two things utterly infuriate me about this; the first is the fact you actually include the statement from Kyoto Animation saying they weren't going to reveal the name of the deceased until all of the funerals were over, and worse, ANN took the decision to NOT publish the name of the suspect in custody of the arson attack. It feels like you're protecting the suspect and insulting the relatives of the victims (I know this wasn't the intention). This just beggars belief. I'm not sure how victims of crimes are reported in the US, but generally over here the media do not report the victims names until the police publicly release them.


1: North American Media had stopped reporting the names of mass-murderers because those killers often seek attention. Naming them is giving them what they want; not naming them is giving them the middle finger. This is exceptionally well documented in many places.

2: In North America, as in Australia, victims are usually named when the police, or the family make a statement. This includes statements made to the media.

We certainly hope the statement made to the Japanese journalists was made willingly and not pried out of the family in an unethical manner. It's not feasible for us to investigate that, so we generally assume that major mainstream publications act ethically. It's a basic priciple of why we are able to cite them as primary sources in our journalism every day.
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NickPenrhyn



Joined: 19 Jun 2014
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:58 am Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:

1: North American Media had stopped reporting the names of mass-murderers because those killers often seek attention. Naming them is giving them what they want; not naming them is giving them the middle finger. This is exceptionally well documented in many places.

2: In North America, as in Australia, victims are usually named when the police, or the family make a statement. This includes statements made to the media.

We certainly hope the statement made to the Japanese journalists was made willingly and not pried out of the family in an unethical manner. It's not feasible for us to investigate that, so we generally assume that major mainstream publications act ethically. It's a basic priciple of why we are able to cite them as primary sources in our journalism every day.


Unfortunately it is the case, they are violating the privacy of the residents of the whole neighborhood and generally being huge nuisances:
https://twitter.com/soukatsu_/status/1154491741153701888
"in addition to KyoAni’s request for media to withold names of those injured and killed in the arson, a neighborhood in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto has posted a notice in front of every house, expressing condolences and asking media to stop asking for interviews."
src: https://twitter.com/imodekun/status/1153907711366455297

Blocking access to the offerings with stepladders (in the case of TBS, Mainichi Shimbun, MBS, Yomiuri Shimbun, and Sankei Shimbun:
https://twitter.com/ultimatemegax/status/1154394892296163329
"I was astonished at how awful the mass media was.
They ignored the relatives putting their hands together to film inside the building. When they moved to the left side of the relatives, they left their ladders in front of the offerings.
Use some sense. Are you even human?"
src: https://twitter.com/MakinaKurusu/status/1152857304124944390
src: https://twitter.com/MakinaKurusu/status/1153261059521708038

Bothering funeral workers to bypass the express permission of families and find out if they've been handling victims of the incident:
https://twitter.com/ultimatemegax/status/1154598702243352576
"Ugh, the mass media in Japan is bothering funeral workers checking to see if they're handling anyone from KyoAni.
This is how far they're going to get clicks on news now."
src:https://twitter.com/4f498f799c9646b/status/1154325685848039424

The easiest thing is to not legitimize this kind of conduct and hold off until the names are officially released. Does our media environment really need to be reinforcing this reckless and aggressive invasion of privacy to know this quickly? Is it okay as an english language news site to operate from a position of total ignorance and reinforce this behavior, particularly when it seems pretty widely known?
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:56 am Reply with quote
NickPenrhyn wrote:

Unfortunately it is the case, they are violating the privacy of the residents of the whole neighborhood and generally being huge nuisances:
https://twitter.com/soukatsu_/status/1154491741153701888
"in addition to KyoAni’s request for media to withold names of those injured and killed in the arson, a neighborhood in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto has posted a notice in front of every house, expressing condolences and asking media to stop asking for interviews."
src: https://twitter.com/imodekun/status/1153907711366455297


I'm aware of this. One of our staff went to the memorial to lay flowers (anonymously, not on behalf of ANN), and when the local media discovered they were a foreigner who spoke Japanese, they hounded our staff member all the way back to the train station.

I wish I could say that all media were ethical and respectful of the victims and their families, but that would be incredibly naive. Events like this will unfortunately have a shit ton of journalists hovering around, and some of them will be incredibly disrespectful. I do want to believe that most of the journalists there are probably acting as respectful as possible, while also doing their job. Unfortunately any attempts they make to be respectful are tarnished by the actions of those who are less respectful. This is the same everywhere.

I'm not going to condemn the New York Times based on the actions of the National Enquirer, and I'm not going to condemn Mainichi Shimbun based on the actions of Yukan Fuji. Likewise, there are pushy on-the-ground journalists working for every publication, even NYT and Mainichi. However, I would expect that the editors at the NYT and Mainichi to act in accordance with accepted journalism standards and ethics, and, quite honestly, as they are significantly more experienced than our team, we often look to established, respected newspapers for examples of what is and isn't okay.

I really respect your opinion on this. I think it's completely valid to feel that journalists shouldn't publish any names at all. It's an extremely touchy and divisive subject, and whatever option we chose, we will be criticized (we were criticized for not publishing the names of other likely victims, even though those names were speculative).

I'm also thankful for the feedback we get on this (although not necessarily the tone of all of it, but anger is understandable).

I believe we are doing so within established journalism standards (as I pointed out before, we've consulted with an ethics expert). These rules aren't written in stone, and the reaction and feedback of our readership does impact future decisions, including those that we are making right now.
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blkmage



Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Location: London, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:26 am Reply with quote
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.
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