Your View: KOMU 8 responds to releasing names before officials

3 years 2 weeks 1 day 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
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department will include New Bloomfield in its coverage area again in 2019. ... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:31:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Bird scooter injuries are a growing problem in Columbia, with those who get hurt on the scooters left... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:25:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - December is filled with festivities, but an emergency trip to the veterinarian can spoil all the holiday cheer.... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:02:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A year and a half ago, Rhonda Watson found herself at a crossroad: Go to prison or go... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 24-year-old Missouri man was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for participating in... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:12:06 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week Hitachi announced a takeover of ABB, worth a purchase price of $11 billion. It's... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:53:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
ST.LOUIS - Missouri salt supply usage is at a high since early snowfall hit the midwest in November. In... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Retired employees of the Columbia Electric Utilities are frustrated with the city for its lack of action in... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:18:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Supporters of criminal justice reform are questioning a move by assistant prosecutors in St. Louis County... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:40:58 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held the first of two formal hearings to determine whether an interstate... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved Tuesday to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
BOWLING GREEN - Charles Erickson, who is serving time in prison for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:16:29 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man awaiting sentencing for attacking his grandparents filed a motion Friday, seeking acquittal on one of the... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:05:36 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the 2017 death of his young son. ... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:55:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. In... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
9am 42°
10am 46°
11am 49°
12pm 52°