08 July, 2009

How do we cover death?

The death of a person is inevitable. However, how people treat the deceased plays a significant role in society. It is therefore vital that people handle death and funerals with some caution.

We live in a world with many cultural beliefs and practices. These are usually the determinants of how society approaches incidents like death and funerals. People should therefore understand that we all treat such incidents differently due to our beliefs and cultural backgrounds.

As journalists, the manner in which we report a person’s death also comes into play. It relates to our sensitivity towards the issue, especially taking into account the ethics we adhere to as journalists and the general ethics held by the broader society.

Journalists should incorporate their professional codes of conduct with societal standards and values when covering death.

Personally, I think it is inappropriate to question how people choose to bury their dead unless it negatively affects the surrounding community. As much as we should pay last respects to the deceased, we should also remember that death affects the living.


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