Sky News reporter Colin Brazier apologises for snooping in victims' luggage
In an article written in The Guardian, Brazier said that his actions “crossed the boundaries of decency and taste” and were a “serious error of judgment”
Tuesday 22 July 2014
Colin Brazier the Sky News reporter who was heavily criticised for rummaging through the luggage of one of the victims of the MH17 has publicly apologised for what he calls a “serious error of judgment”.
In a piece written for The Guardian, Brazier admits that what he did was wrong and “crossed the boundaries of decency and taste”.
He said that good journalism required “empathy” and understanding but sometimes journalists “screw up”, adding that on this occasion “he got things wrong”.
On Sunday Brazier, who was reporting from the wreckage site, was filmed going through the opened luggage of one of the passengers 298 passengers killed on the Malaysia Airlines flight.
The footage shows him lifting items from the suitcase, including a set of car keys and a pink flask that seems to have belonged to one of the 80 child victims to have died last Thursday.
In the footage you can hear Brazier saying as he handles the possessions, that he “shouldn’t really be doing this”.
Following the report, Ofcom received 110 complaints by viewers and there was outrage across social media, with Twitter users calling his actions “insensitive” and in “bad taste”.
Sky!!! Get your reporter to STOP rummaging thru belongings at #mH17 crash site. "We shouldn't really be doing this" NO S**T Sherlock !!— Shelagh Fogarty (@ShelaghFogarty) July 20, 2014
In today’s article, Brazier argues that with “no law and order” and “no police to unspool tape and cordon-off sensitive areas” it was a different context from the type of settings that he is used to reporting in and this played some part in his decision.
He also said that he was not the only reporter that had rifled through evidence, but admitted that that he should not have taken the actions of other reporters as a precedent.
Brazier said that the whole experience had deeply affected him and that he “lost it” on air and began to cry shortly afterwards, saying that the pink flask he is seen handling in the footage reminded him of one that belonged to his own six year-old daughter.
The piece also includes a graphic description of the wreckage site.
He describes what he calls a scene from a “horror story”, saying that “movies would not be allowed to show what we saw over the weekend.”
Read more: Families describe horror at chaotic recovery
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He referred to the Bradford football stadium that he was a witness to at the age of 17, but said even that “had nothing” on the scenes he saw in south eastern Ukraine.
Brazier has previously won awards for his journalism, including a nomination for presenter of the year at Royal Television Society Awards.
He is also attributed as being the first British journalist to enter Iraq with British troops during the 2003 invasion.
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