My Rant About Accident Reporting

Like many of you I have been following the tragic story of Kimberly Pisaturo who was killed by a school bus yesterday while walking to school.  Having brought her up, I offer my condolences to her family and friends for their loss.  But I mention this tragedy as a way of raising another topic, specifically, the way in which the media is quick to find fault with the victim.

The Projo article concerning this accident points out that Kimberly may have had a hooded sweatshirt on (suggesting that her vision was impaired), that she may have been looking down at her cell phone at the time of the accident, and that an Ipod was found on her person (both suggesting that she was distracted).  The latter is particularly ridiculous because it is certainly not worth mentioning that she had an Ipod if no one is sure that she was listening to music at the time of the accident.  To make matters worse, next to this article online is a link to another article stating “most agree Ipods and cell phones are “in” but they can be a distraction.”

Does it reduce the tragedy if we walk away from the article believing it was the victim’s fault? Is this article written by a defense attorney intent on painting a beneficial picture?

I was involved in a high profile case in Boston as well, in which a student was struck by a passing vehicle.  Similar to this story, the Boston Globe highlighted how the student was listening to an Ipod at the time of the accident and according to witnesses, was not paying attention.  The comment section of the newspaper was in a frenzy blaming the victim!

Reporters please – present the facts as you find them, but realize that if the victim is unable to speak for him or herself, then you are presenting an imbalanced version of events.

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One response to “My Rant About Accident Reporting”

  1. Sam says:

    I full heartedly agree that if news is to be published in an article or any other material about Kim, that the facts should be relevant and not based on accusations. Having been one of Kim’s friends, and sister of one of her Best Friends, it hurts to see her death so blantly displayed in news articles or media that stand to question if her death was an accident caused by and ipod or cell phone. Honestly why does it matter if she was listening to her Ipod or cell phone (which the media accuse to say that her texting could have been the cause, when in fact she HATED TEXTING). I dont mean this to sound like a complaint letter of some kind, but Authors need to realize that what they put in their pieces is going to be viewed; especially by the close family and friends, and too see irrelevant information or worse INCORRECT information about Kim, well they’re going to have a right to be offended. Anyways my point is that people should not jump to conclusions about teenagers and connect them as ipod or cell phone texting addicts. And that if your going to interview someone, interview someone who acually KNOWS Kim, and not a classmate or teacher. With a last note I thank you for writing this, because some of my friends and I were beginning to believe we were the only ones who felt this way. Kim Pisaturo, should not be remembered as a category such as Victim or school Patriot (when so many didn’t even know her), but as she was. Just Kim.