Sensationalism vs respect
OVER the past few weeks the Zululand Observer has been publishing articles relating to the rather disturbing circumstances that surrounded the initial disappearance of the botanist couple Rodney and Rachael Saunders, from the Ngoye Forest.
Sadly it was then seemingly confirmed that they were murdered and their bodies disposed of in the vicinity of the Tugela River Mouth.
In this Monday’s edition of the ZO appeared a further article, which gave details about the remains of a body that was found in the vicinity of the Tugela River Mouth and which may very well be the body of one of the botanists who was murdered.
What I am wanting to say though, is that I was absolutely appalled to read the infinite details that have gone into describing the state that the decomposed body was in by the time it was discovered.
I just felt, where is the respect towards this person who was once alive and going about his life in the same way as all of us are and possibly even making a positive contribution to society with his knowledge of the flora and fauna of our country?
Here his beautiful life has been taken away from him by evil people and we further still put it all in print for the world to read what the remains of his body looked like, after the elements and whatever else the body had been subjected to while lying in the water.
It made me feel sad for that person.
I think of family, friends and associates who will read this latest newspaper article that I am referring to, possibly reading it online.
How heartbreaking must that be for them to read an article that is so explicit about the condition the body of that person who once was part of their lives.
LET US RESPECT ED’s response: Every article that reports on the death of a human being will cause heartache to their loved ones - that is the unavoidable reality. While we appreciate that some readers find the description of the state of recovered bodies to be upsetting, in this instance the state of decomposition was highly pertinent to the article and to the ongoing investigation.