Your View: KOMU 8 responds to releasing names before officials

2 years 9 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
COLUMBIA - A warning from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services closed Stephens Lake Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The longtime aide of former Democratic leader Mike Sanders was sentenced to six months in... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Family Resources is just too big. Now, the agency wants a new building with more parking... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:46:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor says he won't press charges related to allegations of conflicts of interest... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:42:47 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District Board President Brian Layman resigned Thursday. Layman's resignation follows Fire Chief... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:07:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Missouri State Education Board outlined a budget that would increase transportation funding for Missouri schools. "The... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission will soon be accepting applications for anyone interested in leasing the former fairgrounds. ... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Planned Parenthood says abortions will stop at its Columbia clinic after Oct. 1 unless a federal... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:43:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November elections are approaching, but behind campaign speeches and electoral yard signs, Boone County is struggling to reach... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson is considering changes to Missouri regulations to help address a shortage of... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:19:36 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday it will not pursue charges in connection with the investigation... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - More than 100 counties are getting $25 million to combat the opioid crisis, and Randolph County is one... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — The latest on the shooting in Maryland (all times local): 12:05 p.m. Law enforcement... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:34:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A new ad targeting Republican senate candidate Josh Hawley accuses him of trying to take away health insurance... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:32:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - Deputies with the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office arrested a driver in California after finding methamphetamines in his car.... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:20:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A pharmaceutical company has plans to come to Columbia, but is seeking a Chapter 100 Bond from the... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizations and activists aimed at improving the poverty situation in the state will gather for the 2018 Missouri... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:24:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After being inactive for nearly a year, the Missouri Board of Education is launching a search for... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:06:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
6pm 76°
7pm 73°
8pm 68°
9pm 65°