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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What are the news media guidelines in determining whether one person is seriously injured or not?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (16421points) August 16th, 2019

For the news reporting? What is the list of injuries that are serious or not?

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4 Answers

kritiper's avatar


What kinds are serious? Whatever the public will allow that doesn’t violate a person’s privacy or legal process.

“During the head-on car accident, the driver’s head was detached from the body, thrown through the windshield and was seen bouncing down the highway” is probably not something the public wants to know about with such detail.

Zaku's avatar

Seems to me they tend to defer to the categories of others.

That is, it’s not usually the news media determining someone is in “serious” condition – it’s the hospital they ask about it. The media generally just reports what the hospital said.

Or it’s the police. Again, the news reporters generally just say what others say.

If they have to go by their own eye-witness assessment (which is rarely the case), they’ll refrain from speculation or they’ll say something like, “It looked to me like he was probably pretty badly hurt…” or something.

zenvelo's avatar

They go by official reports, like from hospital spokesmen, or ambulance drivers, or paramedics.

And medical professionals usually can’t say more than “minor injuries and released” or “serious injuries” or “severe trauma”. Anything more definitive violates patient privacy.

Journalist don’t have “a list.” They don’t have the expertise to evaluate severity.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Minor injuries” = bruises, superficial cuts, etc. “Serious injuries” = anything from a broken arm to on life support. Like @zenvelo said: media goes by what the hospital/medical personnel tell them. And the hospital/medical folks can’t really say more than that without violating patient privacy laws and opening themselves up to a legal shitstorm.

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