Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is this irresponsible journalism?

We have said that we are not going to comment on the David Bain trial until such time as a verdict has been reached. And we have closed down the comments on an earlier thread about the case after commenters began expressing opinions as to Bain's guilt or innocence.

However there is a story on the Herald's website today that we feel we must comment on. Under the headline "Love on hold for David Bain", the story, written by one Joseph Barratt begins thus:

David Bain has made a conscious decision to put love on hold until his new murder trial finishes, says his former flatmate and friend Deborah Read.

This is nothing but a "puff-piece", but more dangerously, it pre-supposes whatever verdict the trial jury may reach when the case is finally handed to them. We wonder whether this story was written on the initiative of the Herald on Sunday, or if it is the work of Bain's support team. Reflections such as these are also of concern:

During that time, Read said, she realised how much the public never saw of the real David Bain.

"All you would see in the news or the papers was a stressed, stern face as he walked into court," she said. "The David I know is a relaxed, funny, loveable guy."

"He's the same as everyone. When he has finished the day he just wants to put his feet up."

Are we reading too much into this, or are stories such as this intended to portray David Bain as just your normal guy. To write that "He's the same as everyone" is patently untrue - "everyone" is not on trial for five murders.

We'd appreciate your comments on the content of this post, but with a caveat - we reserve the right to delete posts that deal with matters that could be prejudicial to Bain's trial.


Lee C said...

just the same team that brought us news of Paula Bennett's private life - it's not even journalism.

Inventory2 said...

Lee - I frequently wonder just what the purpose of the Sunday papers is - to inform, or to entertain. This story is Truth or Sunday News fodder. But it's also aggravated IMHO by trying to cast a "soft" light on a man on trial for one of New Zealand's worst multiple homicides.