Bangladesh Newspaper Criticizes TV News for Interviewing 5-Year-Old Witness to Journalist Parents' Murder

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The Daily Star published on Feb. 13 an interview with a 5-year-old boy who witnessed his parents' murder. (Credit: Daily Star, screenshot)

Bangladesh newspaper The Daily Star’s defence & strategic affairs editor Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan  criticized broadcast media outlets’ for a failure to use “sense and sensitivity” in coverage of the recent murders of two journalists, Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.

Sagar and Runi are journalists who were “found murdered” Feb. 11 at their home. Sagar was the news editor for Maasranga Television and Runi was a senior reporter for ATN Bangla, according to Bangladesh News 24.

According to the Daily Star, in that case, “some TV reporters’ interviewed the “only eyewitness to the gruesome murders,” the couple’s 5-year-old child.

“And to subject the little boy, who was already traumatised, and to make him relive the horrors, even though the questions may have appeared to be innocuous, belies the reporters’ lack of understanding of human psychology and knowledge of ethics of journalism” the Daily Star wrote.

The Daily Star also questioned invasion of privacy and broadcast competitiveness outweighing journalism standards

Interestingly, the Daily Star published on Feb. 13 a story with quotes from an interview with the boy, Mahir Sarowar Megh.  The Daily Star described the boy as “traumatised” and wrote: “The five-year-old looked hesitant when he saw this reporter, an unknown person, yesterday. His relatives were reluctant to allow him to talk to journalists, but Megh himself started a conversation with this correspondent.”

The Daily Star reported further quotes from the boy describing the murder of his parents.

According to the Independent Bangladesh, “a report published in some dailies” claimed that the police “suspect involvement of more than one journalist” in the couple’s murder.

We have written to the Bangladesh Press Club, the Daily Star, Maasranga TV and ATN Bangla asking about the media’s coverage of these murders.

UPDATE: 3/5/2012 11:05 AM EST: The Daily Star reported Feb. 24 that the “police have yet to name a suspect or arrest anyone” and that “all evidence” from the murder was “destroyed due to the crowding by newsmen at the crime scene.”

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Bangladesh Newspaper Criticizes TV News for Interviewing 5-Year-Old Witness to Journalist Parents’ Murder

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