Call to media: putting an end to sensational reporting on the murder of the minor in Fier

Reporting Diversity Network 2.0, concerned about the way the media are reporting the case of the murder of a minor from Fier, draws the attention of those behind the sensational headlines and reports, in order to take measures in stopping harmful reporting practices. Not only the nature of the crime, but the way it was reported in the media in particular, have deeply shocked the Albanian public.

The reporting of details with sensationalism and the inappropriate treatment of the affected family, as well as the proceedings of the case itself, are in violation of the Code of Ethics of Albanian Media, especially in relation to the intrusion into private life, the reporting of accidents and disasters, and the protection of children. The unethical gathering of information from the minor’s relatives has been noticed, accompanied by violations of privacy, excessive and unnecessary interference in the lives of family members, as well as large-scale and widespread violation against the audience.

The media coverage of crime and violence has been completely sensationalized. Lack of self-restraint by media outlets and journalists has been obvious. With their reporting, these outlets and journalists have not only psychologically and emotionally harmed the family affected by the tragedy, but affected the entire public.

Journalists are obliged to respect the suffering and feelings of family members, as well as to show prudence with photos, images, and videos of the crime scene and its aftermath, which in this case have exceeded all limits. Inadequate reporting of such crimes not only hurts the public, but above all completely ignores the suffering of individuals affected by the crime. Furthermore, such media coverage even exploits this suffering, and consequently leads to the deterioration of the mental state of the affected family and community.

We remind news editors and journalists that human values stand above all and, as such, should take precedence over the need to inform, especially when the information provided is not a necessity of public interest. The Code of Ethics clearly states: “Legitimate public interest does not justify sensationalism and, in the spirit of this Code, it should never be confused with information that is “interesting to the public.””