Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Human Decency , Compassion and Ethics

Nicole was given by the court a pseudonym. This is to protect her privacy and to avoid selective ridicule from parties with vested motives. The live coverage of the court's resolution however has exposed her true identity and has compromised her privacy. While a live coverage cannot be edited, subsequent reports such as news files and written reports by the media should have used her alias. But it seems that media had been remiss in its duty to isolate Nicole. Ethical standards were disregarded and ratings and saleability became the priority. Responsible media practitioners had refrained from using Nicole's real name. Even foreign news has used her court-appointed pseudonym in their reports. Our local media should take notice of this and apply ethical standards in their reporting. How can we defend press freedom if we are careless and do not adhere to proper standards in reporting the news?

The blogsphere too has its share of irresponsible individuals. At least those I was able to give suggestions to, quickly edited out Nicole's real name. For that, they have shown that unlike some vultures in the media and blogsphere, they showed decency and compassion. Nicole has since manifested that she would like to keep her identity a secret and just move on. To continue posting her name would add to the stigma and pain that she has to face her entire like. Its criminal and contemptuous to continue using her real name in reports and postings.

Some had averred that in the name of accurate reporting, its imperative to give the details and facts. Fine, let's discuss the case but the court has ordered that privacy of the victim is always the priority. What behooves me is the insistence of some to add to the misery of the victim. A much publicized case does not make the victim a public figure. Rape is a private crime and therefore must be addressed as what it is, private.

Some may have other motives aside from accurate reporting to expose fully the victim to more ridicule and public humiliation. Some justify the revelation to drive a point or support their advocacy. But an educated, sensitive human being will never cross the line of ethics and human decency. We can drive our points without using and abusing the victim. It is never justified to use an individual for one's personal gains.

Nicole has been raped, to continue exposing her is raping her many times over. I scoff at those who try to screen their motives by exposing Nicole's identity. I consider them criminals just like Smith. To be tools to further add to the trauma is unforgivable. We must at all times be sensitive to those around us. This is what makes us different from beasts as we humans have common sense and compassion.