Your View: KOMU 8 responds to releasing names before officials

2 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Friday, December 04 2015 Dec 4, 2015 Friday, December 04, 2015 2:58:00 PM CST December 04, 2015 in Your View
By: Stephanie Sierra and Desiree Seals, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA - Two weeks ago, KOMU 8 reported on a shooting that left three people dead in Randolph County. 

After reaching out to the coroners office, KOMU 8 released the names of the three involved in the shooting before Randolph County Sheriff's did.

In most news stories involving deaths, reporters aren't able to confirm information until officials annouce it. In this case, KOMU was able to get confirmation from the coroner that was able to identify and report the names of the individuals. 

In response to the early release, several viewers expressed their anger.

Tricia Cochran Sexauer wrote: "Saw on the news names yesterday and was disgusted when they said 'this isn't official' like that was going to make it better."

Similarly, Dustin White responded: "Don't worry KOMU, you shared the names a few days ago. You beat the sheriff's department to it."

It just so happened, on that same day another incident involving two people who died in a crash in Montgomery County spurred more crticism on our Facebook page.

Jimmy Dennis commented: "Quick tell us who it was. So we can all speculate and assume what happened and place fault."

Connie Fleming added: "Hope no names are released until family is notified."

We talked to Randy Reeves, news director at KOMU 8 about the decision to share the names.

"This story was of a compelling community interest and we wanted to get the information out after we were reasonably sure that everyone had been notified," said Reeves. 

We reached out to Communications Law professor, Sandy Davidson, after reviewing our feedback on Facebook to see what she thought about the ethics of KOMU 8's coverage.

"If you have any doubts, you know, if you wonder, then you have to pull back," Davidson said.

"Ethically, I think the important thing is that the family members were notified prior to the release of the information by the media."

A "Go-fund-me-page" was posted to KOMU 8's Facebook page by family members of the people involved. This page served as another piece of confirmation that the family members knew of the deaths of their loved ones. 

"You try to engage in social media as best you can, you know it's a fairly constant conversation. You try to explain to folks that we've gotten this information from people who know."

So, what do you think? Do you think KOMU 8 was wrong to release the names of the victims before officials?

The conversation does end here.  Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. Then watch KOMU 8 News Fridays at six for your view of the news.

More News

Grid
List
LINN – The “Wall of Fame” at the State Technical College of Missouri is littered with names associated with the... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Iowa, Florida, Michigan and Virginia are just a few of the home states visitors traveled from for the... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:56:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Salute to Veterans Airshow experienced engine failure Sunday morning. The four engine plane for the US Army’s... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A car drove through a clothing store at a popular shopping outlet on Sunday. 88-year-old Freida... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 1:18:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Salute to Veterans air show at Columbia Regional Airport today started off with some trouble. A... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 12:16:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
BRUNSWICK - Some might think small towns around mid-Missouri are fading away, but Brunswick is very much the opposite, thanks... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 11:15:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Alec J Potthoff, a 20-year old Iowa native was seriously injured after two boats collided... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
(AP) — Joshua Holt, a Utah man who traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - In the midst of high gas prices on Memorial Day weekend some boaters have decided... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 12:46:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
BUNCETON- A new fire station is now ready for action in Cooper County. On Saturday, people gathered to celebrate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:06:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - After a disappointing season capitalized by missing the postseason SEC Tournament it was hosting, Missouri softball will have... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA- The neighborhood of Ridgefield Road and Wood Hill Road are on high alert after a series of break in's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 7:18:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Hundreds of cyclists were traveling from Columbia to Boonville for the 10th annual Pedaler's Jamboree. The event... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:59:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In August 2017, Michael Stephenson moved into his new town home at Aspen Heights for the new school... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:43:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Open pools means play time for many people in Columbia but Parks and Recreation is still hard at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:42:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Seven people die every day due to house fires. The American Red Cross is teaming up with... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:30:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE - The 87-year-old Independence man reported missing Friday has been reported safe. The Missouri State Highway Patrol cancelled... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:29:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people withstood the heat Saturday to support the U.S. armed forces and honor veterans at the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
1am 75°
2am 74°
3am 73°
4am 73°