As a young reporter back at the dawn of time, I was asked three or four times to go to the house of a dead child or teenager and wheedle a photo of the child from grieving parents or whatever relative answered the door. This is not something that I had expected as a bright-eyed, idealistic eager beaver in my early twenties, but I did it.
Thinking about this today still makes me shudder, which only goes to show why I (a noted wimp) spent most of my career writing about entertainment and then technology.
Surprisingly, as described in the story below, all the families were happy to comply.
In one case — and this was a tragedy in which several members of the family were killed — by the time I got to the family home another reporter from a rival paper had already stripped every photo from the shelves and the family album to keep me and others from getting our hands on them.
I wonder if any of this is even mentioned in journalism school these days. Certainly, it does seem, in retrospect, Murdochian.
The link below is a general one to the home page of the Scottish Review, I can't get G+ it to refer to the exact story that carries the headline:
With ratlike cunning
and a plausible manner,
I intruded into private grief http://www.scottishreview.net/KRoy151.shtml