Your View: Viewers Upset with Phrase "Frozen Man"

3 years 3 months 1 week ago February 12, 2013 Feb 12, 2013 Tuesday, February 12 2013 Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:45:00 PM CST in Your View
By: Katie Brennan and Kelly Carlson

COLUMBIA - In our coverage of a man's body found on a farm in Moberly last month, we posted a headline to KOMU.com that some viewers found insensitive. In this week's Your View, we take a look at whether our choice of words was acceptable.

The Moberly Police Department said the body, which a farmer found while he was fertilizing the land, had been exposed to the elements and was found frozen.

The headline of our story on KOMU.com, "Frozen Man Found in Moberly; Autopsy Scheduled for Friday" upset some viewers.

A family member of the man called KOMU and left a voice message. She said, "I am calling about the news headline regarding the frozen man... I am very, very disappointed in it. The family didn't know at that point in time that he was frozen. I think it could have been worded different. I think it was a cold and callous and noncaring thing to do."

KOMU has a policy not to use the name of a victim until the next of kin is notified, but News Director Stacey Woelfel says station policy treats the cause of death differently.

"That is typically one of the facts of the story. If you are going to report the story you say someone died of in a car accident, you say someone was murdered, someone died of whatever cause, we are going to end up putting that in the story. It's part of what makes it news," said Woelfel.

Charles Davis, a journalism professor at MU, says the phrase "frozen man" is not ethically incorrect to use, but this can serve as a teachable moment.

"I think you could get with, certainly, the writer of the headline and say 'is there a way that we could have portrayed a deceased member of our community in a way other than "frozen man"?' which is factual, it's true, it's defensible. But there are probably better ways to do it," said Davis.

So what do you think? Should we have used the phrase "frozen man"? Or should we have left the condition of the body out of the story? Let us know on facebook, twitter, or google plus.  Then watch friday nights at 6 as we report your view of the news.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) - One man suspected of killing a woman in downtown St. Louis carjacking before throwing her 9-month-old... More >>
43 minutes ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:18:01 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Two Kansas City, Missouri, men are accused in federal court of carrying out a killing as... More >>
1 hour ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:16:08 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Workers striped the new Garth Avenue Bridge Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Danny Roeger is the construction... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:44:00 AM CDT in News
PULASKI - Only one 911 line is operational at the Pulaski County Call Center after a lightning strike damaged the... More >>
9 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:12:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri said it has seen an increase in people needing food... More >>
10 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU School of Medicine research revealed that factors other than mental illness could lead to criminal acts of... More >>
11 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:11:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City Fire Department investigation attributes the deaths of two firefighters at least partly on... More >>
12 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Charges were filed against a driver in relation to a police chase in Jefferson City on Tuesday.... More >>
13 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 6:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Economic Development (MDED) named Boone County the fastest-growing county in the state of Missouri... More >>
14 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The next time drivers head down Grindstone Parkway in Columbia, they may notice a sign telling them to... More >>
14 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:39:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said a state board created to advocate for small businesses against government... More >>
14 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:38:00 PM CDT in News
REPUBLIC (AP) — A southwestern Missouri prosecutor said a police officer acted in self-defense when he shot and killed an... More >>
15 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 4:02:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the St. Louis shooting death of an 8-month-old boy and the search for... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A former Missouri man serving a 20-year sentence for killing his estranged wife and burying her... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:46:42 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – As part of an effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Beef prices are decreasing. This comes just in time for Memorial Day weekend. According to the Bureau... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:40:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges say the state doesn't owe two retired judges who later asked for... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:05:08 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld two laws that limit the ability of local governments to... More >>
17 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 2:45:04 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
8am 65°
9am 68°
10am 72°
11am 77°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Heartbeat
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld