Everybody loves a good-news story. But you know what people love even more? A good photo (or a bit of video) to go with that good-news story.
I have been receiving calls from media all day, seeking permission to use the pictures I took after the search that found a missing two-year-old boy on the North Canol Road. Some of the calls have been fair and sincere. Some have been slimy. There has actually been begging.
All of this put me in a bit of a moral dilemma. I am thinking about the family in question, here.
An experience like that is emotional to the extreme. Even though it had a successful outcome, it is no less traumatic.
On top of everything they've already been through, add to that the judgmental, ill-informed, and often mean-spirited opinions about the parents (and the previous owners of the dog) that have been posted to several news agency websites. What those commenters don't seem to realize is that they're talking about real people - real people they know nothing about - who may, one day, read what they have written. If you read through those comments, and they weren't true, and they were about you, how would you feel?
Right now, those family in question is nameless and faceless, and I imagine there might be some comfort in that anonymity. The media's job, however, is to tell a story and nothing tells a story like a good picture. Do I want to be responsible for giving a face to those judgmental commenters?
Right now, I don't. I think the family has been through enough.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I would rather err on the side of caution. For this reason, I have temporarily removed the image of the mother and her son. I have granted permission to one news outlet (which will be making a donation to the Whitehorse District Search and Rescue Society) for use in a national newspaper (where it's hard to leave judgemental comments).
I understand that the media are just trying to do their job: The people demand their images! I completely understand the curiosity that drives people to want to know more.
What I don't understand are the judgmental (and ill-informed) commenters. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but you that doesn't mean you have to share it. For all website commenters out there: Please try to be more understanding (and better informed) before you judge others.