5 October 2012 - 4:04pm | posted by | 5 comments

Sky News defends Kay Burley over April Jones live interview having been inundated with angry complaints

Sky News has defended reporter Kay Burley after she was heavily attacked through social media for breaking the news that the search for missing child April Jones has become a murder inquiry to two members of the search party, one of whom was reported to be the girl’s godmother.

The broadcaster has been deluged with complaints about the live report and the manner in which Burley broke the news to the pair, which saw the journalist trending on Twitter as a result, with many calling for her to be fired, leaving the two ladies in tears.

A statement from a Sky News spokesperson claimed that the reaction had been taken out of context, and attempted to explain how events unfolded; “At around 10.30 today, Dyfed Powys Police announced that the search for April was now a murder inquiry. Several minutes later, Kay Burley spoke live to a volunteer believing she was aware of the latest developments. As she spoke she was joined by a second volunteer.

“It is clear from the full clip that Kay did not start the interview with the intention of breaking the sad development to them.

“However, as the interview unfolded, she found herself having to explain the developments and she sought to deal with it as sensitively as possible whilst continuing to offer some comfort to the interviewees.

“Everyone at Sky News has the greatest sympathy for all those affected by this tragic story and we will continue work with the police and local community to keep people informed,” they added.

Sky News has also provided The Drum with a transcript of the interview between Burley and the two ladies (see below) – one named Donna and the other ‘Family Friend’ and a video (see top) in an attempt to clear up the situation.

Transcript

Kay Burley – If you could stand by a second please Martin, I want to chat to Donna who we were chatting to a little while ago. Hiya, you have heard the news?

Donna – Yes, he has just said (starts to cry), I am sorry.

Family Friend – What’s happened, I haven’t heard?

Kay Burley – OK, I didn’t know that you hadn’t heard

Family Friend – We have been out, we have been ribboning

Kay Burley – Ok, let me just tell you what we heard from the police, is that it has now become a murder investigation, and they have spoken to the family and they don’t expect to find her alive. I am sorry to have to tell you in circumstances like this. Would you like to say anything or would you like to..

Donna – They are wrong..

Family Friend – If they haven’t found her there is a chance, where there is hope there is a chance. There is always a chance, we haven’t found her yet. Until we find her… she will be alright, we will find her

Donna – The police have been wrong before and hopefully this will be one of those times.

Family Friend – There is no bother, we will find her, she will be alive. She will be alright

Kay Burley – What do you think will happen now?

Family Friend – We will keep looking, we will find her. Until we bring her home to her mum and dad we will keep looking

Donna – We will keep searching day and night until we find her

Family Friend – There is no option but find her.

Kay Burley – How are you feeling?

Family Friend – Numb, just numb.

Kay Burley – I am going to let you compose yourselves, if you want to talk to us again later, we are here but I will let you get on.

Donna – Have you got your pink ribbon?

Kay Burley – Yes I have yes, look after yourselves

Donna – Keep hope alive, until we are told otherwise just keep hope alive.

Kay Burley – OK, Mark White is at the search site on the river for us this morning. You saw the reaction there from local people who have been hoping against hope. Despair was starting to set in but they are still hopeful that they will find this little girl alive, it does look from what we are hearing from the police that that is now incredibly unlikely, though a body has not been found as yet.

Comments

5 Oct 2012 - 16:19
studi17626's picture

I am a bit annoyed with the way she broke the news. Granted she may not have meant to break it to them but she is supposed to be a trained professional and that didnt reflect it

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5 Oct 2012 - 18:25
mddye21123's picture

Absolutely appalling. It is not the first time Kay Burley has been insensitive BUT she has gone way too far this time. Sky New must also take the blame for not preventing her from broadcasting after this. "How are you feeling" what a question to ask of genuine people who have been out in their own time looking for little April Jones, desperate for her to be found, they then have the unfortunate meeting with Kay Burley. I do hope you announce an apology soon Ms Burley and Sky News need to take control on how these very sad and sensitive issues are handled.

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5 Oct 2012 - 17:26
benfarrell's picture

'How are you feeling'? Seriously?? This woman is a serious gaffe prone liability, just type her name into Youtube for some more examples...

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6 Oct 2012 - 01:16
fatla15657's picture

I'm the "family friend" and I hate the way Kay burley is being spoken about. We were asked if we would give an interview as a reaction to the latest development, the man who was with Kay asked us. I was talking to someone when he spoke to Donna and all I saw was Donna put her hand to her mouth as she was pointed over to talk to Kay. I didn't go directly in front of the camera because I was asking the man "what news, what have they said" I was then told to talk to Kay. As Kay was talking to Donna at the time she had absolutely no idea I hadn't heard. When I was told and as I was digesting the information Kay mouthed "I'm so sorry in thought you knew" The look on kays face when she realised i didnt know was a look of devastation. After Kay came off air she came to find me and apologised profusely and gave me a hug. I have been interviewed by Kay several times this week as I have been volunteering since the call for volunteers went out. I have also had several conversations with Kay off camera and I have found her to be nothing but lovely, caring, concerned and professional throughout the week. I have watched the clip and I do see how it could b taken as nasty but if everyone could have seen the look on her face when she realised I didn't know, none of this would be an issue. I give Kay my support 100% she did nothing wrong. Nothing at all

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6 Oct 2012 - 20:57
fatla15657's picture

Oh and the conversation transcript above is wrong. I wasn't asking Kay what had been said I was asking the man who sets up the interviews and he told me to speak to Kay. There are also wrongs in things I'm supposed to have said and don a is not Aprils godmother.

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