How the media cover disasters

Ontario Today hosted a call-in show on how the media handle disaster coverage from Noon to 1 p.m. , then the conversation continued online.

Ottawa bus crash raised questions about how reporters cover sensitive news

A horrific crash between an Ottawa transit bus and a Via passenger train earlier this month left six people dead and dozens injured. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

When disaster hits, reporters head straight for the people most affected: survivors, victims and their families. In Ottawa, this happened two weeks ago when a transit bus crashed with a Via passenger train, killing six people and injuring dozens more.

David Studer (left) and Rob Russo joined the live chat at 1 p.m. (CBC)

The deadly crash made headlines and prompted questions on a number of issues, from rail safety to how the health of bus drivers is managed.

But it also raised questions in the community about how the media gather the news and how sensitive issues, like the death of a loved one, are handled.

Ontario Today hosted a call-in show on how media handle disaster coverage and that conversation continued with a live chat. Our guests were:

CBC Ottawa executive producers Paula Waddell (left) and Ruth Zowdu chatted live. (Joanne Steventon/CBC)

  • David Studer, CBC's director of journalistic standards.
  • Robert Russo, managing editor of CBC News's Parliamentary bureau.
  • Paula Waddell, executive producer, local news Ottawa.
  • Ruth Zowdu, executive producer, radio current affairs Ottawa.


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