Friday, August 20, 2010

Covering Funerals: What's Appropriate

The caskets of Devean Duley and Ja'van Duley arrive for funeral services in Orangeburg, SC.
(Photo Credit: Mary Ann Chastain/The Associated Press)

I received a phone call on Thursday from a television reporter in Columbia, South Carolina who wanted to ask my opinion on using some pictures that her videographer shot during their assignment. They were covering the visitation for Devean and Ja’van Duley, two toddlers allegedly killed by their mother and disposed of in the Edisto River in Orangeburg County.

The reporter informed me that they had video of the boys in their caksets while family members and others paid respects at the funeral home. Some of the video clearly showed the boys from various angles, some of them being close-up shots. The reporter’s question was, “would it be appropriate to use the video?”