Tag Archives: paul and rachel chandler

Chandlers thank their local media and explain decision to sell story to nationals

Kent couple Paul and Rachel Chandler, who were released by their Somali pirate kidnappers earlier this month after being held hostage for more than a year, have reportedly written to local papers to explain their decision to sell the story to the national press.

According to a report on Archant KOS Media’s Kent News website they received a letter from the couple saying that they had decided to sign exclusive media deals in order to “repay certain immediate debts resulting from this unfortunate and troubling episode”. It’s understood the deals have been made with one national newspaper and one broadcaster.

In a letter sent to media organisations – including Archant KOS Media, publishers of this website – the couple thank the media for their support and respecting an injunction issued in the summer which prevented speculation on their situation.

But they said: “We are not a large and wealthy corporation and have had to take the decision to go with one broadcaster and one national daily newspaper”.

Earlier this month Journalism.co.uk spoke to Chris Britcher, editor of Archant KOS Media’s the Tunbridge Wells on Saturday and Sunday. At the time he said there was a “ferocious appetite out there” to find out more about the couple’s ordeal, but that the paper would respect their wishes at all times.

They may well decide that, actually, after a flurry of publicity, they just want to return to their lives, out of the glare of publicity. If they do, we will obviously respect that, perhaps only returning to them for significant anniversaries etc.

BBC: Why we kept silent on the Chandler case

Writing on the BBC Editors’ Blog, world news editor Jon Williams defends the broadcaster’s decision to keep quiet about the release of Paul and Rachel Chandler while other news organisations broke the story around it. Concerned that details of the release being published could jeopardise the couple’s chances of making it to safety, the family had secured a super-injunction prohibiting coverage until they were confirmed to be back in safe hands, but not all news organisations obeyed it.

While we’re not in the business of censoring the news, no story is worth a life – we accepted the argument of the family, their lawyers and the judge that to do otherwise would jeopardise the safety of Paul and Rachel Chandler.

Some other news organisations did not – which is why, for some hours, during the Chandlers’ dangerous journey through Somalia to the safety of Kenya, the BBC stayed silent while pictures of the couple could be seen elsewhere.

While it wasn’t a comfortable position for us, or our audience, to be in, it was the law and a restriction put in place to try to ensure the safety of the Chandlers. Had we done otherwise, we would have been in contempt of court.

Full story at this link.