OUR VIEW: Broadcasting horrific video of Abbotsford stabbing was unwarranted

This isn't about censorship. Rather,it's about decency, especially in the crucial hours after a tragedy where next of kin must be notified.

Numerous emergency vehicles were on scene at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Tuesday afternoon after two students were stabbed.

When you’re in the media, you face some difficult decisions.

What to publish. What not to publish. What to show. What not to show.

Despite what many people might think, most times the media gets it right, putting decency and respect above page views, readership and ratings.

Tuesday night was not one of those times.

Just hours after a heartbreaking double stabbing in an Abbotsford school that left one girl dead, several TV stations were broadcasting a video showing one of the stabbings inside the school during their evening news shows.

Other outlets shared the gruesome video – that was just as horrifying to listen to as it was to watch – on their websites.

Many people were outraged and shared their disgust on social media. And even after the Abbotsford Police chief pleaded with people, including the media, to stop sharing the video out of respect for the families, the video played on.

Some would argue that refraining from showing such a video is tantamount to censorship, arguing that such hard-to-see images that hit you in the gut are what affect change.

We don’t think this is about censorship at all. Rather, this is about human decency, especially in the crucial hours after a tragedy where next of kin must be notified.

Perhaps had the police been searching for the suspect, an argument could be made that showing it was important. In this case, the suspect was already in custody, so showing it was needless and sensationalist.

It’s no wonder media gets a bad rap.

The Now


Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read