‘Leaked footage’ is something we seem to hear and read quite a lot about.
It’s an essential part of the free world. The public’s ability to anonymously give information to the press without fear that their identity will be uncovered. A journalist must never reveal their source.
The footage of Kim Jong-nam’s assassination was leaked to the Japanese TV network, FUJI TV.
For them it would have been a no brainer on broadcasting the footage, despite it’s grim content. This video was so highly anticipated. There would have been a News Editor standing over an edit computer glancing between a Premiere Pro timeline and his/her watch trying to get it on air as quickly as possible.
Of course this is not the first time that video has been leaked, by any means.
The ‘Trump Tapes’ have already been mentioned. Here’s a couple of fascinating articles about that particular scoop from from The Washington Post and CNN.
The reality is that footage is leaked almost every day, somewhere in the world.
In examples such as the aforementioned sex tapes, there is a solid case to argue whether that’s in the public interest. Just because a bunch of teenage boys would like to see Jennifer Lawrence in bed with Idris Alba (a totally fictitious concept by the way) it doesn’t mean they should be able to.
Some would argue a similar point for the Kim Jong-nam assassination footage, does that need to be seen by millions of people around the world?
I’d argue yes, but it’s an unfortunate conclusion.
North Korea has, of course, locked the story down. It’s people don’t know about the killing. Many probably don’t even know their leader had a brother in the first place.
In this instance the footage is more than just a money making machine for the broadcasters and news websites that used it. It serves as a stark reminder as to what lengths Kim Jong-un will, allegedly, go to to, essentially, have his own way. While it may not be considered by the press the continuing coverage of this story brings the way that North Korea is run back into people’s minds.
It’s these questions that news outlets should be asking themselves when they receive leaked footage. Is it in the public interest? Are we fulfilling our service to the public by publishing or broadcasting this?
I just hope the assurance of cash or beating the competition for running the video doesn’t cloud their judgement.