Two reporters from U.S. news agency CNN were fined THB5,000 (US$133) each and had their tourist visas revoked yesterday for entering the crime scene of a mass shooting in Nong Bua Lamphu province.
Australian reporter Anna Coren and British cameraman Daniel Hodge were seen performing a Thai wai to apologize for filming inside the day care center where an ex-cop killed at least 24 preschoolers last week.
“I’d like to offer my deepest apologies to the people of Thailand and especially the families of the victims of this tragedy,” Coren said in a taped apology. “We are so sorry if we’ve caused you more pain and suffering, that was never our intention.”
The 47-year-old reporter also went on to apologize to the Thai police for “the inconvenience that we’ve caused.”
On Friday, the two broadcast from inside the nursery where two dozen young children were killed the day before, which was widely criticized as unethical and insensitive. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand said in a Saturday statement that it was “unprofessional and a serious breach of journalistic ethics in crime reporting.”
The news agency soon after issued a statement, claiming that the journalists were allowed inside by unidentified health officials.
Gen. Surachet Hakparn said the two entered the crime scene from around 10am until noon on Friday after asking the authorities in the vicinity if they could do so.
In a statement later on Sunday, CNN International’s executive vice president and general manager, Mike McCarthy, said that though the reporters obtained permission to enter the facility, the team now realized that the officials “were not authorized to grant this permission.” McCarthy went on that it was “never their intention to contravene any rules.”
After the apology from Coren and Hodge, Surachet determined that the two journalists did not “intend” to trespass onto the crime scene but had been given permission by a health official or volunteer who did not hold that authority.
According to Surachet, Coren and Hodge entered Thailand on tourist visas on Thursday, the day of the massacre and violated the law by then working, for which they were fined THB5,000 each. Their visas were also revoked.
On Thursday afternoon, former cop Sgt. Panya Kamrab used a gun and knife to kill at least 36 people, including many young children, before dying of a self-inflicted gun wound.
Thailand has a new Oct. 6 horror it’s unlikely to remember (Opinion)
Thais demand change after disgraced cop kills 36
Ex-cop who murdered dozens at child center in Thai northeast kills self
Leave A Reply
You must be logged in as a Coconuts User to comment.