God knows what Sky thought it was up to with that church terror piece

In more than 30 years of journalism, I thought I’d seen it all.

But Sky News and its crime reporter Martin Brunt have proved me wrong.

Like thousands of other people, I still can’t quite believe what he did this week.

So, in case you missed it. This is what he did….

Yes that’s right. As a follow-up to the horrific attack on a French priest, Brunt turned up at a service in leafy Surrey – and proceeded to launch the most extraordinarily ill-conceived to-camera piece I think I have ever seen.

Rightly, he and Sky have been mercilessly mocked on Twitter, with #icouldhavekilledthemall trending spectacularly.

The wonderful Guardian writer Simon Ricketts was in his element.

brnt

As a side note here, there have been dozens of pieces which are little more than strings of Twitter embeds masquerading as stories on Brunt’s report.

But I’ve yet to see anything quoting Sky in defence of the mind-blowing decision-making that went into actually putting this on air.

I’m disturbed by what that says about both balance and serious reporting.

But hey ho.

mail church.PNG

Ironically, a few days ago, I was profoundly impressed by the way in which Sky News’s digital newsgathering editor Hazel Baker talked about the sensitivities of covering incidents like the atrocities in France.

And yesterday, the Guardian hosted a hugely interesting online debate about that very same issue.

So this piece is all the more puzzling, to put it mildly, in that context.

It’s difficult to know where to even begin in listing the thought processes and editorial judgements which are so profoundly wrong here.

I look forward to an apology for some of those from Sky.

Otherwise this episode threatens to make a mockery of our entire profession.

 

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