The above quote comes from Jo Healey, author of “Trauma Reporting: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering Sensitive Stories” (Routledge)
These BBC Scotland reports do harm.
Rather than foregrounding the professional evidence of what happened and in particular the lack of certainty in cases where several factors were contributory to a death or to harm, BBC Scotland has foregrounded, headlined, the traumatised outbursts of a statistically tiny group of parents, understandably broken by the experience but not, in any way, reliable opinion for any news report.
She said she believed NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board should be punished. My view is that the hospital should be closed. I don’t think it’s safe,” Ms Darroch said. I feel like the health board need to be punished for all of this. In my eyes, what happened to my daughter is murder. She should still be here and I am trying to come to terms with that, after coming to terms with losing her initially.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58652497
The parents have not so much been given a voice as having had their wounds re-opened and used for cheap journalistic measures of success. If these parents have become unable to ever come to terms with their loss because of media and opposition politicians feeding upon their grief, then BBC Scotland has done harm to them.
Those who read these headlines, see these images, have not been informed usefully of the extent to which these hospitals are incredibly safe places but so large and complex that things will sometimes go wrong. If the audience has been scared off attending hospital because of statistically incredibly rare events, then BBC Scotland has done harm to them too.
Worst of all, this has been done in an attempt to harm a political movement. How do I know? I only have to look to those parts of the UK with no or a less tribal underlying constitutional issue, where the BBC is not fighting for Britain.
More than 100 baby deaths but no foregrounding of outbursts of anguish or calls for punishment from parents, just information on what happened.