ONE PUNCH: Walk away instead of being violent, and don't blame journalists if you lash out.
ONE PUNCH: Walk away instead of being violent, and don't blame journalists if you lash out. Monique Preston

OPINION: Newspaper reports don't ruin lives, violence does

WHAT is it going to take to stop people punching each other in the head?

It should be a simple solution - surely we sorted this out in primary school.

More than one victim has died from this particularly explosive type of violence.

One would think that would be enough to make people stop, reconsider and walk away.

Yet so-called "coward punches" keep happening.

Sometimes they land people in court and, yes, sometimes on the front page of newspapers.

Not every such attack is serious or newsworthy, as this writer knows, having been the victim of a random punch on a suburban Sydney street some years ago.

But sometimes they are and, yes, sometimes reporters attend court appearances and choose to write about them.

Journalists often cop criticism for "ruining lives" by reporting on such cases.

The logic seems to be that the only reason offenders face consequences for their actions is because newspapers air them to the public.

But newspaper headlines and factual, accurate court reports do not ruin lives.

Foolish decisions and violent attacks do.