Broadcasting Networks Criticized for Airing Raw Footage of the Itaewon Tragedy

itaewon halloween crowd crush 2022
Credit: Kuki News

A deadly crowd crush in Itaewon occurred resulting in the death of hundreds on October 29th. As soon as the disaster broke out, networks replaced their original programs with breaking news of the tragedy.

On October 30th, MBC released a clip filmed by a witness through a newsbreak titled “Reports on the tragedy of Itaewon.” The footage showed the incident in real-time, including the paramedics trying to pull out people from the crowd, the injured being carried out on a stretcher, and citizens performing CPR to save lives.

News stations were also busy reporting the tragedy of Itaewon. People pointed out that the clips were too violent and traumatizing to watch although some footage was blurred.

According to the principles of disaster reporting by the Journalists Association of Korea, repeatedly reporting unfiltered scenes of an incident should be avoided. The association has therefore asked networks to abide by the principles.

Meanwhile, real-time chats and online comments on the tragic news are reportedly causing secondary damage to the victims. Vicious remarks against the victims continued, but experts are having a hard time blocking them as those comments do not include cursing, swearing, or sexual expressions that the AI filtering system can detect.

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