Reporting the identity of victims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Attorney Murdered

Reporting the identity of victims

     Some viewers contacted us after watching our morning cut-ins and midday newscast.  They wondered why we did not report Robert Friedman's name during the noon news when other news outlets were reporting the information.
      Agressive pursuit of a story includes some responsibility.  Action News 5 learned the victim's identity at 9:30am but we deliberately did not report it because the Memphis Police Department said some family members had not yet been notified.
     The victim had a wife and two children.  In homicide cases, it is our policy to hold the names of the victims until surviving family members of the victim have been notified.
     The shock and grief associated with the news media's reporting of violent deaths prior to sensitive notification creates a second victimization.  This situation can be avoided with communication and cooperation between law enforcement and the media.

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