Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shame on the Media

8:16 PM Rona Ramon, mother of fallen IAF pilot Assaf Ramon shocked IDF officers who arrived at her home to deliver the news of her son's death.

When the IDF officers arrived, Rona had already been called by news reporters asking for her feedback.

This is exactly the reason the Muqata blog refused to report the name of the pilot prior to receiving permission from the IDF censor.

News agencies and blogs that reported Ramon's death prior to the removal of the media blackout (and the family's notification), should be ashamed of themselves.

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Olah Chadasha said...

Absolutely disgusting and shameful. What kind of response did the media think they were going to get? "Oh, I'm so happy to hear that I've now lost a son and a husband." It's also appalling to put a mother through something like that before it's been officially reported to her with the support necessary to console her. But are you really that surprised they did this? Anything for that scoop.

ProfK said...

And yet I'm still floored that they did this. I keep hoping that at least a little mentchlichkeit is left in the media, at least enough to hope that such a tragedy would have them backing off. My heart aches for this wife and mother who has suffered so much--are the media really without so much as a dram of human feeling?

Way too much hubris on their part. In these days before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur isn't there even a tiny bit of worry that they are coming up to judgment and their "al chaits" are too numerous for us to count?

Anonymous said...

Jameel, your posting is a relic of an age gone by. It used to be that shame, a personal, or professional sense of it, was enough. Nowadays, few have enough personal integrity to care about that, and do whatever they figure can get away with without getting sued or arrested..... ):

In the midst of this sadness, I am still quite proud of you.

Ma Sands, U.S.A.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Thanks Ma Sands.

There was zero question in my mind -- not to publicize this till the IDF allowed it.

However, people kept posting this all over the place.

Its not only the media -- its bloggers and webgroup people who *have* to publish stuff, regardless of the consequences.

keren said...

But the question on the other side is, that if someone I know came and told me about this at 18:00, how come the IDF onlymuch later 20:00??

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Keren: It was public information at 18:30 (see my previous post).

The 20:16 time was when I posted the news item that Rona Ramon found out the news from the media, and not from the IDF.

Yanky Friedman said...

most people probably did not know the news was censored. if jameel got it on his beeper with a note that the censor still does not let the info out, most of the people who picked up the news off of twitter had no idea it was still censored.

It is unfair to say everyone talking about it was breaking the rules. Most people picked it out of a public source and had no idea it was not yet meant to be public info. Most people are not "in the loop" the way Jameel is.

Granted, the first people to release the info to the public (I have no idea who) might have knowingly done something wrong (or maybe also not), but most of those who came after had no idea.

Michael Cohen said...

it should and is in fact breaking the law and is punishable not only by fine but also by loss of GPO credentials...This should be enforced with all vigor and is part (not all but part) of the reason why Dermer, even if he does intend to try - will not win this one. Bloggers cannot be held accountable, traditional media, though slow, late and often lazy, used to desposit a sizable sum as collateral for being able to function in the sphere and create a kitty from which the fines could be levied - no such animal with new media.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that anyone publishing such news before officially allowed to is in the wrong.
However, here is a story about the Lebanon war.

The son of someone we knew fell in the war.
His brother was serving in Gaza, the are in similar units.
All of the "Hevra" in their social group knew about it hours before the parents were informed by the army.
The brother was SMSed by friends about this.
I am sure that this is one of the reasons that no cell phones were allowed in Gaza in the recent action. On the other hand, in today's world of technology maybe the army should begin rethinking how they give out their official messages (hopefully they should not have to do so any more) so to arrive at the family before the reporter or well-meaning friends do.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lets be very clear: The media was outside Rona Ramon's house before the IDF officers arrived.

Lets forget the non-maintream media like bloggers and chatboards for a second. The Mainstream media was outside with TV crews, photographers and interviewers from all the main news stations...just waiting like vultures to capture the tragedy for all to see.

The MSM was well aware of the media blackout, yet circled like vultures for the scoop.

Rafi G. said...

so why does the censor or the IDF brass allow the media to do that? maybe they need to punish them and take away some access until they show they are willing to play by the rules.

Michael Cohen said...

...and its not only media as Jameel correctly states. Some 25 years ago I lost two men in a non-combat related incident. The news swept like wildfire through the ranks of the entire corps we were assigned to at the time. Remember, this was way before cell phones and at a time when it took weeks, months or even years to get a new phone line installed. A young officer from a different unit who heard the news through the grapevine and had been in officers training with my guy called his Mom to share in her grief - only problem was - she had not yet heard anything. Instead of fessing up and making sure the mistake was known, he hung up and left her hanging. The guard at the outer gate to our secluded base had no idea why a crazed mother was shaking him and demanding to speak to someone in charge. The only communications tool he had was the field phone which was understandably busy with other affairs. Thankfully, a third party found a way to telex us that something was happening at the outer gate and two of us (the doctor and myself) rushed to the gate (a very long desert drive) to see what was up. When we saw the mother we knew that it was going to be a worse day than it already was. The army delt with the incident harshly. Investigations, courts-martial and jail time were eventually doled out to many people involved - but, as I was to learn through the process, it was not an isolated incident.

In a society where everyone knows everyone and everyone is related even if they are not and everyone feels that other people's business is their business - this is bound to happen.

Rona would inevitably have found out before the IAF Commander got to her home - but she would have found out from an insider.

So I put it to all you pundits out there - which is worse? The media or the meddling "freind."

May none of us know that pain!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has ever been in contact with the "media", reporters, or as I like to call them, parasites, knows full well that the idiotic question about, "how do (did) you feel when you learned about (insert horrific situation) that the media is not only insensative but ignorant regarding their intrusion into the life of the person being questioned.

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