These girls and their families have suffered enough. (Did you have to expose them and add to their suffering for a few copies more?).
To: The Editors of the New Straits Times, Harian Metro, the Malay Mail
Re: Pictures of Kampung Baru molester victims in your papers today
I received mails from some enraged readers of yours (and you may say goodbye to them) with regards to your reports in today's paper on the police enlisting the help of 4 young former victims of the so-called Kampung Baru molester.
All of you decided to use the pictures of the girls being escorted by their parents/guardians and police officers to a building in the city believed to be where the girls (and Nurin Jazlin) had been detained by the suspect.
While the faces of the girls (all below 8) were covered by their parents/guardians with newspapers, you actually decided to publish the pictures of these parents/guardians without bothering to pixelate* the photographs.
I don't have to tell you that by doing so you have exposed these children (and their families) to your readers and to further misery.
As at this point of time, dear Sirs, as your former colleague and a fellow journalist, I am ashamed of you. You might as well have published the faces of the girls, their names and addresses.
You owe your readers, the parent of the kids, and the poor kids an unreserved apology.
p.s. I attach herewith photos of some of your handiwork.
* Newspaper editors often pixelate photographs so that the reader cannot identify the identity of the subject/s. A photograph of a crime suspect is pixelated until he is formally charged with his crime. Pictures of underaged kids, whether victims or otherwise in a crime, must be pixelated to protect their identity.
Note to Rocky's Bru readers:
I don't relish picking on editors and journalists; I'd rather hold them in high esteem. For 3 years, I was editor of the Business Times and for another 5 years (until Feb 2006) I headed the Malay Mail. As editors and journalists, we make mistakes everyday.
But the decision to publish the pictures of the parents of these kids is plain stupid, reckless, unprofessional, insensitive and ought to be condemned.
The Sun published the picture of a parent and his little girl on its front page today but its editors had the sense of covering up the man's face. Berita Harian is the only paper in the NSTP family that didn't carry the pictures. Neither did Utusan Malaysia. The Star's editors also decided not to use the pictures.
The top 2 pictures are from New Straits Times, pic 3 from Harian Metro, and the 4th one from the Malay Mail. Bottom most picture is taken from the Sun's front page. ALl pics used without permission.
For more pictures and annoyed words, go HERE.