Viewers wanted to know victim's fate in advance

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The Independent Online
A STILL from a World in Action programme (above) used in research which has revealed that people are less tolerant of drama techniques where crimes are involved than programme-makers and broadcasters allow.

Groups of people were shown a film describing how a convicted criminal raped, whipped and half drowned another man.

The sequence started with the two men walking together; it cut to an interview with a neighbour, then into a drama showing the face of a man clearly whipping someone. It showed the victim's head being held under water, then a body breaking through a glass door. The commentary explains that, in desperation, he jumped through the glass.

The researcher, Brent Morrison, said that, surprisingly, two groups suggested the sequence should be adjusted to make it clear from the outset that the victim escaped and survived the attack. Another group said they preferred the more traditional method of having the neighbour recount the story, without adding the dramatic effects.

(Photograph omitted)

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