Santiago derailment’s train. Which code of ethics?

“Ethical codes are adopted by organizations to assist members in understanding the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and in applying that understanding to their decisions. An ethical code generally implies documents at three levels: codes of business ethics, codes of conduct for employees, and codes of professional practice”, according to a definition found in Wikipedia, to which I basically agree. 

This post is about the resolution expressed by the Press Associations’ Federation of Spain (FAPE) related to the images uploaded to Twitter last July 24th  2013, when a passengers’ train derailed in Santiago de Compostela, causing a big catastrophe, as I explained here.

Today the Press Manager of Madrid 112, @LuisSerranoR published a post in his blog showing his total disbelief with the sentence that explains why there is no ethical issue regarding the picture of a little girl being rescued by a firefighter that day. In that picture it is perfectly visible the child’s face, with no respect to her basic right to intimacy, since she is a minor and a victim. Let me add, now a double victim.

As @LuisSerranoR says, we are used to see the pictures of all the celebrities’ children with a veil on their faces, so we don’t know how that child looks like. It sounds at least weird that an organism that should be an example of best practices for the journalist tells us that there is no problem here because the protagonist of the image is not the child but the firefighter.Besides, they add, her family didn’t complain. What a lucky circumstance! Can you imagine thousands of victims all around the world complaining because of that?

What is more, if she is not the protagonist, but the firefighter, Why don’t you remove her, or at least cover her face?

No comments on that.

The ethical committee also explains that the picture “reflects the reality”. So what? 

It also adds that “journalist's commitment to truth can not fail.” Really? To begin with, reality, as @LuisSerranoR says, is something not that clear and, even if it was, we can not skip children’s rights arguing that. As the above definition says, it is an obligation of an organism that represents the journalist be clear on  what is right and what is wrong.

Tweet asking not so share unappropriate victims' pictures

Tweet asking not so share unappropriate victims' pictures 
Luckily, most of us know. That’s why emergency managers, VOST members and teams, journalists and some other people did our best that day to avoid that sort of images being shared through social media.
The sentence also says that the picture is “essentially objective and truthful”. Again, What is objectivity? Even more. I don’t care. I have two children. If that child were my daughter I would feel terrible. Anyone would. Is that so difficult to understand for a commission that should take ethical issues into consideration? Psychologists have already  given their professional opinion on the topic.

The picture shows the impact of the catastrophe?

I have no words. Simply. Al least 79 people died and 178 were injured. Do we need a picture showing a girl to realize the impact of the tragedy?

“The presence of the victims brings solidarity and serenity ", reads the sentence. Again. We are talking of fundamental rights according to our 1978 Constitution (art 18): honor, privacy, image
The last straw. “Pain and distress is the result of the accident victims”. Thanks God. So we can go to bed with peace of mind. It is not the journalist' fault. Can anyone seriously affirm so? Come on… Of course! If the train had not derailed there would not have been any pain!

To our disgrace, we see almost daily these sorts of pictures both in traditional mass media as well as in social media. But, up to day, never ever has an organism supposed to care for the ethical journalism’ issues affirm that sharing thesesort of pictures is all right.

If they are right, I must be terribly wrong, and I won’t follow their advice. I’d rather be and independent professional with my own ethical code. What would you do?

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