Seaman Apprentice Bruce J.
Burns, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan
J. Bums of Route 7, Nashville, Term.,
broken arms, shock.
Fireman Milton M. Jackson, 20,
son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph J. Jackson
of 4210 Florida Ave., Lexington, Ky.,
skull fracture, internal injuries.
Engineman Third Class John C.
Stole, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alton H.
Stole of 4109 American Ave., Long
Beach, Calif., compound fractures,
The dead are always identified first in the casualty
list, followed by the injured
In identifying the victims, it is again emphasized
that all pertinent information related to them be included
in the list. A newspaper near San Diego might use only
the victims names, ages and rates. The parents names
and hometown addresses might be cut because they
have no local news value.
The wire services, however, would want all the
information. A story like this would be picked up and
served to newspapers in the victims hometowns. Names
of the parents and their addresses are important. By
including all the information in your releases, you leave
its use up to the discretion of the media. It may also save
you the trouble of later answering queries for additional
information. Also, note that the driver of the car has been
identified among those killed and that specific injuries
have been listed for those injured. Most newspapers
follow this practice. This eliminates the need for
cluttering up the body of the story with these details
If there are 10 or more casualties, the
recommendation is that you place their names
separately at the end of the story. The newspaper can
treat the list as a sidebar or run the names in an adjoining
box. Too many names in the casualty list cause a big
break between the lead and the body, interfering with
the storys progress.
The use of a casualty structure has two distinct
advantages for the newspaper. First, this treatment gives
each name more prominence in the story because of the
typographical arrangement. Each victim is listed
separately. The reader does not have to ferret out their
names from one long paragraph. The reader merely runs
down the list quickly to see if there is anybody the reader
Second, the casualty list allows for easier handling
in both the editorial department and the composing
Let us say the previous story appeared in the first
edition of a newspaper. By the time the fourth edition of
the paper is ready to go to press, one of the more
seriously injured victims dies.
If the casualty structure is used, a complete revision
of the story is not necessary. The editor makes a few
minor changes in the lead and body of the story, then
moves the name from the injured heading up to the
dead heading in the casualty list.
Casualty Releasing Policy
Under most circumstances, the names of casualties
cannot be released until the next of kin have been
notified. In this case, the story should be written and
released in the customary manner. However, the space
ordinarily reserved for the casualty list should include
the following statement:
Names of casualties are being
withheld pending notification of next
Later, when the names are released, a newspaper
may insert them in the proper place in the story.
However, it is neither necessary nor desirable to
withhold the other facts in the story until the names are
Current policy regarding the release of the names of
the dead and injured, such as what can or cannot be
released, is contained in Department of the Navy Public
Affairs Policy and Regulations, SECNAVINST
5720.44A. (This publication will subsequently be
referred to by its short title, PA Regs.)
If only two or three people are the victims of an
accident, their names and identities should be
incorporated into the paragraph structure of the story.
Do not list them separately, name by name, as in the
Let us assume that only one person was killed and
another was injured in the previously described auto
accident. The following is the way the names would be
handled following the lead:
Seaman Jackson B. Painter, 22, the
driver of the car, was killed instantly.
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl H.
Painter of 680 Deamond St., Elmsdale,