Enact a legally enforcable media ban following a death until families have been notified

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In Australia there have been several tragic incidents in which lives have been lost under horrific circumstances; most recently these include the Dreamworld accident and death of a bus drive in Morooka, Brisbane. In both of these instances, the media have not only obtained excessively graphic footage which has been broadcast widely across television, social media and newspapers, but also well before police have had the opportunity to notify next of kin. 

It is abhorrent to think that in times of utter tragedy, the families left behind are not even afforded the dignity and respect of being told personally about the death of their family member, because it seems this basic courtesy gets in the way of a good news story.

It is proposed that legislation be developed or refined, or policing powers extended to ban media from reporting on the details of deaths in any Australian community until such time as families have been appropriately notifed. It is also proposed that current media regulations do not extend far enough to prevent graphic images being broadcast (for example, the bodies of deceased people under sheets), and that such broadcasting serves no purpose except to inflict trauma upon the community and families.



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