Battle Observer Comment: Give Kate’s family time to grieve

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THE local news has been dominated this week with the incredibly sad tale of Kate Zaks.

The talented art student, who grew up in Staplecross, was senselessly killed in Poland at the weekend.

The news has shocked everyone in this small village, many of whom knew Kate and her parents, who run the Post Office.

And the terrible news barely had time to sink in before the national media stormed into the village.

Now with such a story, unwanted media attention is unavoidable, but the way some of the nationals have behaved has caused a lot of upset.

One particular newspaper article made some nasty and lurid allegations about the young girl’s private life, just one day after the initial news of her death broke.

By criticising newspapers, I know the words ‘pots’ and ‘kettle’ spring to mind, but it made me feel ashamed of my profession to read such vile allegations about an innocent victim who was cruelly taken in her prime.

I also heard a tale of how someone close to Kate actually found out about her friend’s death by receiving a phone call from another tabloid.

Obviously not being a daily newspaper, we are often able to take our time a bit more when covering this kind of story.

But even when on deadline it is still possible to retain some degree of sensitivity, as demonstrated by plenty of other publications across the land.

Let’s hope the national media intrusion calms down and allows Kate’s family, friends and the wider community the time it needs to grieve.