Questionable ethics from MooseFM

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On January 11, local radio station, Moose FM, posted a story and photograph on their website which was rather disturbing. It reported that a resident of this community had been diagnosed with Leukemia and had less than six months to live. I was surprised that the individual in question would consent to such a public announcement, so I contacted them. Not only did they not consent, they didn’t even know about it. They did feel free to quote that “he has about six months to live, and that there isn’t a treatment that could save his life”.

To add to this incredible breach of privacy, the article quoted the resident at length. It transpired that the quotes were from an email they had sent to friends and a group in which they were involved. Somehow, a copy of that email had made it into the hands of Steve Berard from Moose FM, resulting in the posted article. No-one asked the featured individual for their consent, nor did they warn them the article was going to be posted.

The photograph used on the web site was a few years old, showing the person when they were going through a previous battle with cancer, looking weak after a series of chemotherapy sessions. Who ever thought that such an exposure of private matters was an ethical thing for a media outlet to commit? Who sent them the email, and why did they think that was the act of a friend?

To clarify: the person profiled in such a questionable manner gave me permission to write this article, since, as he said, he doesn’t have the energy to protest himself. At the very least, an apology is deserved and demanded, and the offending and offensive post should be removed at once.

1 COMMENT

  1. Indeed ethical, unbiased journalism is one of the pillars of democracy.

    I presume, given the chastising tone of this ‘article’ … that is presented as an editor’s opinion piece (and not presented as journalism).

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