6. Alternatives to the unedited video

Airing disturbing content doesn’t have to be a matter of airing all or airing nothing. There are always alternatives to showing a video in its full form. Krop’s team, for example, blurred parts of the video when they aired it. In an earlier newscast, they opted to have a reporter describe the video. Still images, […]

5. The wildcard: social media

Journalists recognize that their job as gatekeepers is less concrete than even a decade ago because of social media. “I was the lineup editor of The National. Nothing got on The National unless I said it got on The National,” Bulgutch says. “But now, if I don’t put something on The National, people can walk […]

2. Sensationalism or public interest? The ethical question

Krop says she felt that the jarring and graphic footage of a young girl being stabbed not only highlighted a possible lack of safety in B.C. schools, but could catalyze the effort to rectify the problem. Burgess had to make a judgement for her audience: Was the video in the public interest? Could the video be that […]

1. Global goes to air: “‘Have you no souls? Have you no heart?’”

Global B.C. chose to air a blurred version of the video. Global B.C. news director Jill Krop says it was a difficult decision, and one that was met with shock, anger, and even a petition on Change.org, calling for her immediate resignation. The fallout from Global’s broadcast prompted Krop to defend her decision on CKNW, an […]

Graphic content: When is it worth airing?

Case study by Olivia Chandler, Katerina Georgieva, Gregory Furgala and Kieran Delamont January 2017 Introduction On the morning of November 1, 2016, a young male entered Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in British Columbia and stabbed two teenagers at random. A bystander caught the incident on video, which showed one victim on the ground, trying to […]