Naming the dead
The newspapers in the UK are today full of detail about the first woman soldier to be killed in the Afghanistan war. She was first named by the Daily Mail and the other newspapers subsequently named her as well. However BBC News has not given her name.
Late last night, following the Daily Mail's publication, the BBC received a request from the Ministry of Defence not to publish details until members of her close family had been informed of her death. This meant we needed to hold back information for a few hours and we decided to agree to the request.
Our instinct is always to publish information once it is in our possession. However we need always to be sensitive to the personal impact our news can have. Broadcasting reaches into people's lives in a way that newspapers do not. We would usually prefer to hold back information for a few hours rather than run the risk that a relative hears of the death of a named loved one over our airwaves.
UPDATE 11.50AM: BBC News has now named Corporal Sarah Bryant as the female soldier who died in Afghanistan. We named her at the time by which the MoD told us they would have contacted her relatives.