Your View: KOMU 8 responds to releasing names before officials

2 years 2 months 2 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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol in the investigation... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 9:58:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Student journalists would largely be shielded from censorship by their schools under legislation that... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:41:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — People with misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence would be barred from having access to guns... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:37:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Thirty-three years ago, Jeff Sherman took the court as the head coach of the Central Methodist Eagles for... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 2:59:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Valentine’s Day had some people swinging in the name of love. MU Swing Society held a dance... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:47:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Citizen's Police Review Board said the Columbia Police Department is facing several difficult issues relating to an... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is pushing to increase funding for public libraries in Missouri's rural areas.... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:49:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A recent study out of the University of Missouri in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the United... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Consumers spend Valentine's Day buying and giving flowers to their loved ones, but they might not think about... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Kansas City company is working to make health care more efficient in Cooper County by constructing a... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:07:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Elections aren't the only U.S. democratic institutions intelligence experts say were influenced by Russian meddling. Protests, specifically the... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:01:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A controversial bill that would allow some university faculty members to carry guns on campus is making... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Sexual assault evidence kits would be tracked through a statewide system under proposed legislation. ... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:01:21 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Many people have probably seen the signs sitting on the side of the highway, flashing one simple... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Sobering statistics and the rising tide of the #MeToo movement has led to possible legislative action in... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:40:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is urging residents to check their credit and debit card statements for charges they... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:51:00 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis judge who sentenced a teenager to more than 240 years in... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:41:18 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Two women are hospitalized in critical condition after the car they were in collided with... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:24:39 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
6pm 63°
7pm 61°
8pm 58°
9pm 57°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld