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Hit and Run

Some interesting discussion at Ulaca about the Lamma Ferry accident:

Ferry Accident Raises Ethical Issues

Besides the obvious safety issues raised by Monday’s collision between two ferries which resulted in at least 38 deaths, coverage of the accident has raised ethical concerns both journalistic and ferry industry-related.

To take Wednesday’s South China Morning Post’s extensive analysis of the disaster first, journalists appear to have taken a prejudiced stance in their reportage, referring twice to one vessel (in each case the Sea Smooth operated by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferries) crashing into the other (in each case the Lamma IV operated by Hongkong Electric).

A reporter called Lo Wei sets the tone on the front page with his or her piece about one of the families travelling on the Lamma IV (the Hongkong Electric boat). Lo writes “They had just settled in to enjoy the outing when a ferry crashed into their vessel.”

Then, on page 2, Alex Lo and Amy Nip get only as far as their second paragraph before they write “barely ten minutes after they had left Lamma Island, the vessel owned by Hongkong Electric would be struck by a ferry, causing its stern to sink”.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the previous day’s SCMP had carried an article headlined “38 die in Hong Kong ferry disaster”, credited to staff reporters, in which Hongkong Electric’s Director of Operations, Yuen Sui See, was quoted as saying, without proffering any evidence for his assertion, "The ferry rammed the side of our boat. They didn't bother and just left".

Read the full posting and comments over at Ulaca (link above).

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