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Home / World / The New Media Guide states that journalists should emphasize agencies in reporting traffic accidents

The New Media Guide states that journalists should emphasize agencies in reporting traffic accidents



British journalist Laura Laker said: “By reading some news headlines and subsequent articles, you may think that the car is already driving itself, which is forgivable.”

She collected many articles about road traffic accidents, which did not attribute the driver to the car.

She said: “It is important to remember that the collision involves a vehicle driven by a person.”

Search for agentless reports on road traffic incidents on Google and you will find many examples.

“The car capsized in a crash,” Reported Gloucestershire Live September 27. Earlier, after “the car left the road and hit a tree on a country road”, the family had a “lucky escape”. Reported Leicester Mercury. “The car left the crash site and collided with the house,” reported Canadian TV Channel website.

Editors who titled these articles and journalists who provided copies were ignored, including agents. The new one says it’s harmful and wrong, Expert-led media guide It states that “publishers should mention human actors in collisions.”

There are reasons for crashes, and these reasons are inevitably caused by poor driving. Usually dangerous driving. However, when incidents (many of which are clearly criminal offenses or proved to be the case) involve motorists, journalists around the world sometimes still avoid blaming humans for their actions.

There are no reports of the use of automatic assault rifles or sword stabbing personal weapons. There will always be reports like: “Rampaging gunman”; “The killer killed the policeman with a knife.”

The new UK reporting guidelines released today were drafted by journalists and academics, with advice from police, lawyers and expert groups (such as the British National Federation of Journalists and the media monitoring organization IMPRESS).

The ATA statement stated that the guidelines were developed by the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy (ATA) until November 8 for public comment, with the purpose of “helping journalists, broadcasters and publishers to improve public debate on road safety.” .

The statement continued: “Although there are already reporting guidelines on suicide, children and refugees, there is no guide specifically to guide best practices in road conflict reporting.”

Crash, not accidental

Planes will not accidentally hit the ground, they will crash. However, this language is not always used for road bumps: they are often described as “accidents”, as if no one made a mistake. Campaign groups have been lobbying for neutral road accident vocabulary for years,“Crash, not accidental” Is an Common mantra-with Research published last year It proves that the main language used in media reports often leads to so-called “victim blame.”

“A simple change in the way we talk about crashes can help the public gain support for safer streets,” he said. Kelcie Ralph, Is one of the scholars behind the research.

in Earlier researchRalph found that news reports about road traffic accidents refer to vehicles in 81% of cases and drivers in 19% of cases.

In 2016, Associated Press Style Guide Changes were made to encourage reporters to use “collision, collision or other terms” instead of “accident”.

Words are important

British bicycle policy consultant Chris Boardman, who is also the walking and cycling commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Tragedies are often described as unavoidable accidents, rather than the result of highly avoidable crimes.”

“Words are really important; they paint a picture that affects our perception of a topic and the degree to which crime is valued.” He added.

Street death The author, Dr. Robert Davis, said: “If we are to develop guidelines for all kinds of things, then it makes sense in transportation. Human agencies (usually criminals) can easily harm their fellow citizens. This is especially true in the case of

John Ranson of the National Federation of National Journalist Ethics Committees said: “Good reporting should help.

“However, too much media coverage of road collisions has led to and reinforced the lazy generalization.”

The co-chairs of the Cycling and Walking Parliamentary Group of the British Parliament agreed. Conservative MP Selaine Saxby said: “We have media coverage guidelines for various serious social issues, so it is important to include road traffic accidents.”

Barrister Martin Porter (QC) emphasized that because “language is important”, the guidelines “should have expired”:

“Talking about speeding, driving lights or getting off people seems harmless. Therefore, this does not mean that anyone is responsible, but the chain effect will exacerbate the dangers on our roads and the failure of the entire judicial system.”

The Road Crash Reporting Guide is divided into four parts:

  • Fairness: “The publisher must not use the word “accident” when describing a road collision because the collision or crash is more accurate, especially when the facts of the accident are unknown.”
  • Discrimination: “Posters must avoid using negative generalizations about road users, and must not use inhuman language or language that may inflict violence or hatred on road users in comments and news reports.”
  • accuracy: “Based on facts and background, the coverage of perceived risks on the road should first be accurate. Issuers should mention human actors in collisions and avoid mentioning personal protective equipment, such as high-strength contact lenses and helmets, unless there is obvious Relevant meaning.”
  • Crime report: “Publishers must avoid portraying dangerous or criminal behavior on the road, such as speeding (acceptable behavior) or being found to violate the law and becoming a victim.”

Lake said reporters should ensure that agents are always included in any reports on road accidents.

She freelances for ATA and he said: “Ultimately, if enough people in the road safety industry agree that this is the right way to report, then it will become a best practice,” she pointed out.

“We will ask the media to follow these guidelines, and if they don’t, we can ask why they don’t.”


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