The unfortunate and inhumane sex-abuse-cum-murder case of an eight year old girl, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, unfortunately, led to some Malaysian reporters in their haste to get a "scoop", to totally ignored the basic ground rules for reporting.
A certain Malay language tabloid, reported that Nurin's father, Jazimin Abdul Jalil, borrowed money from "ah longs" or loan sharks and failing to settle his debts, his daughter became the victim. This 'stupid theory' was denied by Jazimin and his family.
"I have never borrowed money from loan sharks and I am not saddled with heavy debts," he was quoted as saying by The Star.
Jazimin expressed disappointment over some press reports and accusations from strangers. The reports had tarnished his family's reputation at a time when they were facing the worst nightmare of their lives.
The reporter or reporters of the tabloid, failed to uphold journalism ethics. Their editor is equally responsible for the silly 'conclusion' which was denied by the police.
Less they forget, the principal duties of a reporter are to cover the news thoroughly and accurately, in simple language truthful reporting.
Attribution is another factor apart from checking and double checking with Jazimin in order to seek the truth. Sadly, this was done by the reporter concerned.
The tabloid should not publish unconfirmed accusations affecting the reputation or moral character without opportunity given to Jazimin to be clarified.