The Society of Editors has described as “concerning” elements of the Kerslake report into the actions of the media during and after the Manchester Arena attack of last year.
In his report, Lord Kerslake detailed a number of incidents where it was said that the families of victims felt that they were badly treated by some elements of the media in the aftermath of the bombing which killed 22 people on 22 May 2017.
While noting that there was praise for some media coverage of the atrocity, in particular by the Manchester Evening News and other local organisations, the Society says it is disappointed that some of the family and friends of victims reported negative experiences of media approaches and coverage.
“There are strong guidelines in place for both the press and broadcast media but it appears that in a number of cases adherence to good practice fell short of the standards that I am certain every newsroom would expect their staff to adhere to,” commented Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors.
“Whilst it is understandable that during the initial aftermath of an event such as the terrible terror attack in Manchester there will be some confusion and errors will be made as journalists attempt to undertake their legitimate role in providing accurate information, every step should be taken to ensure that intrusion into grief is handled sensitively and journalists do not add to the obvious distress of victim’s relatives and loved ones.
“Going forward the Society will support any initiative whereby statutory responders and the Independent Press Standards Organisation can work with media organisations to explore ways in which any lessons can be learned whilst recognising the importance of the media in reporting on matters of legitimate public interest.”
The report can be read in full here.