A number of readers were angry and upset by a headline and story online about the Winnipeg murder trial of the man charged with killing Tina Fontaine. Canadians were outraged by the death of this 15-year-old and the trial is a difficult one to follow.
The story from the Canadian Press from that day's testimony was posted by The Globe Tuesday evening with the headline: Tina Fontaine had drugs, alcohol in system when she was killed: toxicologist.
That story was updated the next day with a new story and headline: Expert tells Winnipeg murder trial he could not determine cause of Tina Fontaine's death.
Story continues below advertisement
On Wednesday afternoon and evening, a number of readers complained that the Tuesday story was victim-blaming. They said it put the onus on a child rather than the person charged with her murder.
The story and headline on the testimony read harshly to some when written about a young woman who died tragically and especially to those family members and those in the community still mourning her death. At the same time, it showed her as a vulnerable person. Part of a criminal trial involves a defense and questions raised that may seem unfair to the victim and that is part of an open court system.
I have also seen postings from those upset with the re-use of smiling photos of Bruce McArthur, now facing five charges of first degree murder. They are right to say please don't and efforts rightly are being made to show the victims. But absent any other photos of Mr. McArthur, other than the ones he has posted on social media, continued efforts must be made to avoid those images of the man charged.
These are both good reminders from the readers to be respectful of the victims while at the same time covering all the news from trials and police investigations.