Tasteless in the extreme. Sickening. Disgraceful.
Those are just some of the words that have been used to describe one Brisbane newspaper’s coverage of the Stephanie Scott tragedy yesterday.
While most Australians’ reaction to the young teacher’s disappearance was shock, disbelief and concern, the Courier Mail decided yesterday to turn the story into a pun.
“BRIDE AND SEEK,” its front cover headline screamed yesterday, referring to Ms Scott’s disappearance just days before her Saturday wedding.
The News Corp cover has been reported to the Australian Press Council following social media outcry over the insensitive headline, which was printed just hours before 24-year-old school cleaner was charged with Ms Scott’s murder.
Police allegedly found blood in a Toyota ute belonging to the man, Vincent Stanford, and pictures of a burnt body on his phone.
It’s sickening to think Stephanie Scott’s tragic fate could be transformed into a lighthearted joke by a prominent Australian newspaper — especially while the young woman’s family are enduring the most difficult week of their lives, and especially while violence against women remains a serious epidemic across Australia.
Related content: Leeton mourns the loss of Stephanie Scott.
The news that an innocent young woman has lost her life is shocking enough.
There’s no need to amplify that shock factor by engaging in tasteless, disrespectful wordplay.