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#954220 - Fri Dec 07 2012 09:37 AM Australian prank call ends in tragedy
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The nurse who took the prank call from the Australian DJs the other day has committed suicide as a result. I trust theyy don't think that it is so funny now.

For those who do not know what I am talking about, a couple of radio DJs made a spoof call to the hospital which Kate was in and pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles. The nurse gave them an update on Kate's condition so unwittingly divulged confidential information to the media. She is now dead.
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#954224 - Fri Dec 07 2012 10:05 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: sue943]
ClaraSue Offline
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Oh dear, how awful! I absolutely cannot stand prank calls and practical jokes. There is always someone who gets hurt. I refuse to be part of practical jokes when people try to enlist my help. No matter how innocent or funny it may seem, and even if the person getting pranked laughs, there's got to be some hurt feelings there somewhere. I feel so sorry for that nurse and her family. Maybe something like this will stop radio DJs to stop this nonsense. You hear them do this sort of stuff all the time. Not funny!
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#954227 - Fri Dec 07 2012 10:27 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: ClaraSue]
Jennings Offline
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In hindsight, I expect that the BBC and all the media that broadcast the part of the call, in which the nurses voice could be clearly heard (and therefore her identity disclosed to those in the know), deeply regret doing so. I hope so.

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#954231 - Fri Dec 07 2012 10:37 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: Jennings]
sisterseagull Offline
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Sorry? I doubt it. Apparently one of them has been on air today bragging about his involvement... What goes around, comes around mate!

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#954233 - Fri Dec 07 2012 10:43 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: sisterseagull]
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What is more disgusting is the the radio station's Facebook page still has the clip online, there are lots of angry comments. They have taken down their website and stopped Twitter accounts but left Facebook there.

They make reference as to how the dreadful accents didn't stop the call getting through but given the name of the nurse who died, it is possible that she might not have English as a first language so have a problem with recognising that the accents and indeed voices were unlikely to be that of the Queen.
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#954241 - Fri Dec 07 2012 10:59 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: sue943]
dsimpy Offline
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It's a desperately sad outcome. It was also a stupid and inappropriate prank for those radio DJs to have played (not, in my view, for the 'royalty' aspect, but simply because a patient's right to confidentiality was thoughtlessly breached).

However no-one could have anticipated this outcome, and I'd be pretty sure the DJs are/will be wrecked and saddened by this. I think Jennings' point is a good one - perhaps more damage was caused to the nurses involved by the British media's transmission of the phone call than by the actual call itself?
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#954280 - Fri Dec 07 2012 01:31 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: dsimpy]
Copago Offline
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Nothing will happen. The radio station will tell these two to pull their heads in for a bit and life will go on. If they continue to let Kyle Sandilands broadcast then this is just a little blip on their radar.

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#954283 - Fri Dec 07 2012 01:58 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: Copago]
JaneMarple Offline
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It is a shocking outcome to a practical joke. I really hope the two DJs are thoroughly reprimanded and my thoughts are with the Nurse's family, and her children.
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#954294 - Fri Dec 07 2012 02:55 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: JaneMarple]
lesley153 Offline
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Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand are still getting work - and audiences. The BBC won't really give a hoot about the people who were hurt. All they will care about is viewing and listening figures.
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#954408 - Sat Dec 08 2012 05:15 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: lesley153]
Chavs Offline
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That's seems overly harsh on the BBC.

In the past, the BBC has usually been the one that shows the most restraint when it comes to this sort of situation, holding back from naming suspects, for example, when other stations such as Sky have been content to report a rumour. Maybe I've missed something: Did the BBC do something particularly bad this time? Something different to other media outlets? Were they the only ones playing a clip of the call?



Dsimpy, well said, you've voiced my thoughts too.
Quote:
It's a desperately sad outcome. It was also a stupid and inappropriate prank for those radio DJs to have played (not, in my view, for the 'royalty' aspect, but simply because a patient's right to confidentiality was thoughtlessly breached).

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#954424 - Sat Dec 08 2012 08:50 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: Chavs]
supersal1 Offline
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The nurse who died was not the one who divulged the information, she merely took the call and passed it through to one of the nurses looking after Kate.

The radio station aren't really in a position to reprimand the DJs - after all, if they've done this sort of thing in the past then the station has condoned it.

I trust the DJs involved are wrecked by this. I've never been able to see what's so funny about people in the public eye playing pranks on members of the public who are just trying to do their job.

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#954429 - Sat Dec 08 2012 09:28 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: Chavs]
lesley153 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chavs
That's seems overly harsh on the BBC.

In the past, the BBC has usually been the one that shows the most restraint when it comes to this sort of situation, holding back from naming suspects, for example,


I didn't mean about naming people, or referring to rumours, I just meant about taking action after something nasty has been said in a programme. Julian Clary disappeared for years after an arguably ill-judged remark about Norman Lamont, on ITV in 1993. If he had made the same remark now, I don't think many people would have blinked. What Ross and Brand and these two DJs did was much worse, and infinitely more damaging, than the single vulgar word Clary used.
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#954430 - Sat Dec 08 2012 09:30 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: supersal1]
lesley153 Offline
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Originally Posted By: supersal1
I trust the DJs involved are wrecked by this.

Sounds fair! I've never liked pranks either.
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#954445 - Sat Dec 08 2012 11:46 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: lesley153]
sue943 Online   content

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What gets me rather is that the radio station's lawyer checked it out before it was put on air, perhaps he or she ought to be castigated too.
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#954454 - Sat Dec 08 2012 01:48 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: sue943]
Bruyere Offline
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I heard the prank call and couldn't believe it but then thought, I've been in positions where I was on the phone, using three languages all day long, and placing calls through and there were various dignitaries calling from time to time, and what the heck did I know about that sort of thing? We had no direct lines and people would call and harass you and treat you like dirt on the floor. I tried to remain discreet and not give out information but people are clever. I remember revealing the fact that one person wasn't in the office and was called on that, or people would try and get information out of me. When the chips fall, they'll blame the person there on the lower end of the totem pole.

When I heard her sweet voice saying that Kate had slept well enough or something...and how she was trying to do her job and if you've been given the line and told it's the Queen, you might not have the courage to ask any more questions about her identity...well, anyone who says the contrary has never worked phone lines like that or been in that position.

The only thing that will happen is a return of karma for the people doing these pranks. I know they probably didn't mean it to turn out like this, but in the social media age, this is just terrible.

May the young woman rest in peace...she did her job very well I'm sure.
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#954465 - Sat Dec 08 2012 03:02 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: Bruyere]
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That wasn't her giving details Heather. As it was very early in the morning there was no one at reception and when the call came through this person answered it then put the call through to another nurse who gave out the information. She didn't give out information herself.
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#954474 - Sat Dec 08 2012 04:44 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: sue943]
lesley153 Offline
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From the ever-reliable Daily Mail:

"Australian radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been taken off air following growing global outrage at their ‘sick’ prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital."

http://tinyurl.com/nurse-latest
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I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind. ~ Richard Greenberg

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#954516 - Sat Dec 08 2012 06:08 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: lesley153]
TabbyTom Online   content
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Lesley153's mention of the similar nine-day-wonder scandal involving Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand in the UK is relevant here. So is the current British brouhaha about “phone hacking” by Rupert Murdoch's journalists.

These things only happen because there is an audience for them. If viewers didn't want to watch these so-called “pranks”, then no TV station would actively encourage presenters to stage them. If millions of Britons did not rush to their newsagents in the early morning to buy the Sun and the News of the World, then Murdoch's (and Prime Minister Cameron's) friends would not be so eager to give them what they clamour to read.

Until Anglo-Saxon consumers raise their own moral standards, we cannot expect businessmen to refrain from profiting from our appetites. Believe me, it is really quite easy to live without Murdoch's so-called “news” media, and to get through a day without even switching on your TV set.
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#954523 - Sat Dec 08 2012 07:47 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: TabbyTom]
lesley153 Offline
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Originally Posted By: TabbyTom
...it is really quite easy to live without Murdoch's so-called “news” media, and to get through a day without even switching on your TV set.
It's nice to know I'm not alone. smile
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I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind. ~ Richard Greenberg

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#954531 - Sat Dec 08 2012 10:00 PM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: lesley153]
mountaingoat Offline
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According to the logic of the people blaming the pranksters, if one of the DJ's commits suicide, those who attacked them are responsible. Imagine the egg shells we would all walk on if we fear an action or statement may cause a fragile person to commit suicide.

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#954544 - Sun Dec 09 2012 03:32 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: mountaingoat]
ren33 Offline
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I don't think that is the point at all. They did the wrong thing, they did the hoaxing and they are entirely to blame whatever the outcome. As has been pointed out , there has been enough invasion of privacy by the media, and people like that should be punished, whether the victim of their wickedness committed suicide or not.
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#954556 - Sun Dec 09 2012 05:31 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: ren33]
lesley153 Offline
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Agree with Ren's take on this. Does anyone think that calling the nurse "fragile" is an attempt to put the blame on her for what happened, and to absolve the DJs of any culpability?
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I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind. ~ Richard Greenberg

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#954561 - Sun Dec 09 2012 05:36 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: ren33]
dsimpy Offline
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I agree with Mountaingoat on this. I think the hoax call was wrong, was tasteless, was regrettably all too typical of what passes for broadcasting these days, and the outcome was dreadful and truly sad.

However I think the predictable witch hunt that's developing around these DJs is wrong. They are not responsible for a tragedy that couldn't have been foreseen by them. They're apparently devastated by what happened (and I can believe that).

Their prank was checked by the radio station's lawyers and obviously cleared by their producer. The DJs' 'crime' is bad taste and very poor judgement - nothing more. There's no need to find villains in this episode ... or two more victims.



Edited by dsimpy (Sun Dec 09 2012 05:37 AM)
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#954573 - Sun Dec 09 2012 06:31 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: dsimpy]
sue943 Online   content

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It is understood Jacintha left a note explaining why she took her own life. A source said: “It leaves no doubt that she wanted to kill herself.”

Once the inquest has taken place presumably this will be made public and it will be seen whether it was the prank call which was the cause.

I wonder if the radio station will pay the funeral costs or whether civil action will be taken against them for causing her such distress resulting in her death.
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#954576 - Sun Dec 09 2012 06:50 AM Re: Australian prank call ends in tragedy [Re: dsimpy]
flopsymopsy Offline
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I don't think they could have foreseen a suicide BUT ... what they could have foreseen was that they would expose whoever they spoke to possible professional consequences, and possibly cost them their careers. In this case we know that the hospital told the staff involved that wouldn't happen but that is down to the hospital getting it right, not the jokers. And they could have foreseen that whoever they spoke to would have been subjected to incredible stress.

They knew, they absolutely knew, that in these particular circumstances broadcasting their prank call would be covered worldwide. They knew that. That's what they wanted, to be famous for a prank involving the Duchess of Cambridge, for extracting confidential information, for finding things out that other people didn't because those other people obeyed the rules. Knowing what sort of coverage they might get if their prank succeeded all they thought about was the fame they would get and what it would do for them. And knowing that, they also knew that the world's media would turn on the source of the information like a pack of wolves. Normal people are not generally capable of dealing with that.

I spent many years as a press officer and I dealt with the media every day. And no matter how innocuous the story or what good news it was supposed to be, I woke up most mornings with feelings of dread about what they might have said I said or how they might have edited my comments or if something had been twisted... and sometimes I did fall victim to that and was saved only because it had also happened to my bosses and they knew how it went. But every so often I had to deal with a media frenzy about a story that wasn't good news - I've been on front pages, on the national tv news, on radio, and I've had reporters and camera crews and tape recorders camped outside my office, with others phoning constantly and demanding information to feed the hungry columns. And that was only the British press and was before 24/7 newsfeeds, websites, Twitter, and all the rest of it. I coped with it because I'm an adrenalin junkie, because I was actually quite good at it, and because I had training in what to say, how to say it, what might happen, etc. And because I got paid to do it. But whoever answered that prank call would not have been trained in those techniques and the pressure must have been enormous. I think many professional PR people would have been overwhelmed by that let alone someone not used to it so while I was shocked by the outcome, I wasn't surprised at it - because these situations always were a disaster waiting to happen.

I found it interesting that the radio station had the taped checked by a lawyer before broadcast so they were clearly concerned they might be liable for something. However, what they didn't do was refer it to an Ethics panel. They don't seem at any point up the ladder, from the DJs to the station bosses to have considered that the whole thing was so unethical that it should never have been done in the first place. Who rings a hospital to get information about a non-relative so that it can be broadcast? Everyone knows that information is confidential. And who tries to get information about a young woman pregnant with her first child who is seriously ill with a condition that can cause miscarriage? Who gets information like that and broadcasts it to the world with the obvious potential of causing even more stress to a woman already in danger of losing her baby? Who does that? It doesn't matter who she is, who does that? They didn't give a toss about what might happen to the Duchess and her baby, and they certainly didn't give a toss about what might happen to anyone they ploughed through on their way to their scoop.
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