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Monday, December 19, 2005

Some Media Insensitivity in Nilan Murder

Because of the emphasis of this blog I typically wouldn't comment on particular crimes except as they highlight the need for prayer for a particular region or a situation in the State. However, I was provoked when I read about the death of jogger Judith Nilan and saw the insensitivity on the part of some of the press. First, it's debatable whether we need all the lurid details. It may be our CSI-crazed society that wants to know or picture these things, but a little self-policing can hurt no one.

A second aspect: as most will have heard, Ms. Nilan's body was discovered on property belonging to Carroll Spinney, who plays Big Bird on
Sesame Street. So it was more than a little disturbing to see Yahoo! News pick up a story from E! Online with a headline that read, "Body Found at Big Bird's Nest." Imagine this being your loved one found in such a state and then encountering that. Headline writing can be difficult, but certainly one could have incorporated the fact of Mr. Spinney's ownership of the property, if it were necessary, without resorting to such a stunt. Will anyone apologize for this?

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Anonymous said...

I agree with "Nick" regarding the insensitivity relative to the Judith Nilan story. Judy was a high school friend of mine and while we lost touch, her memory will be with me forever. She was so much more than just a "body" found. She was an extremely smart, motivated, beautiful and funny human being who will be terribly missed. I wonder if the person who wrote this thoughtless piece is so unloved that he/she has no idea what message was sent: CARCASS FOUND ON FAMOUS PERSONS PROPERTY.
Nick: I will apologize for this headline in the name of my friend, Judy.

Nick said...

Anon. - you are so right on. Have a blessed holiday.