I’m trying to keep my temper this week after watching one of the most irresponsible pieces of journalism I’ve ever seen. A television news package has just told the story of a boy who keeps running away from home because he wants to travel on a train. His parents – apparently unable to control this behaviour – have said they wish he’d stop doing it, and that on one occasion he actually managed to buy a ticket.
Sounds innocent enough? Far from it. Because not only did the news item film the boy walking to his local train station; they gave his name, and that of the station.
So now everyone knows what the boy looks like; where he comes from and what station he can be found walking to several times a week. Oh, and his age – he’s four years old.
Responsible journalism? What do you think?