UKRAINE (KRON) — A British television reporter admits he goofed when he pawed through the luggage of a child killed in the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on live TV.
Colin Brazier admits he crossed a line when he showed personal items from the suitcase found next to the crash site during a live report.
In a personal apology printed on the Guardian web site, Brazier says there’s no excuse for what he did, which was quickly the subject of widespread derision on social media.
“Certainly it was a serious error of judgment,” Brazier writes. “I acknowledged that and so did Sky. My bosses issued an apology by tea-time. They were supportive and keen to stress that they understood the context of the gaffe.”
Brazier says he and his network tried to avoid the most sensational aspects of the story.
“We took an instant and simple decision to avoid pointing a live camera anywhere a corpse might be seen,” he says. “What about intimate belongings? They brought home the poignancy of the tragedy. They told a story of lives – swimming trunks, laptops, duty free, books – snuffed out in an instant.They provided the backdrop for me to ask why victims were being left to rot in the sun. Other journalists, some well known broadcasters, were handling belongings and speaking to camera. In a place without rules, I foolishly took that as a precedent.”
Brazier also says he lost control of his emotions being surrounded by so much death.
“Too late, I realised that I was crossing a line. I thought aloud: ‘we shouldn’t be doing this … this is a mistake’, an instant apology that was only selectively quoted by those determined to see what I did as a powerful example of journalistic vulturism.”
Brazier says he has learned empathy from his six children but wishes he could take back the images of himself going through the luggage of a child who had just died.
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