Malaysia Airlines and PM Announce Demise of Flight MH370

The Malaysia Prime Minister announced that Flight MH370 most likely ended in the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines posted this statement on its website

MH 370 Statement

This message also was texted to the families:

Malaysia text

In a posting five hours earlier, the airline gave updates and responded to questions. The statement included a section about working with the families:

"Yesterday, the high-level team met with families in Beijing for more than eight hours. 

"The families asked many questions, and made detailed requests for radar readings and other data. Some of these questions could not be answered, and some of the data they requested was still being held by the investigation, as is standard procedure in investigations of this sort.

"After meeting with the families for a total of more than twelve hours, and taking hundreds of questions, the high-level team has returned to Kuala Lumpur to discuss the matters raised at the meetings. They will return to Beijing tomorrow to continue.

"The briefings in Kuala Lumpur over the last two days went smoothly,  and the families responded as positively as could be expected, with the families engaging with representatives from the relevant authorities.

"It has always been our intention to keep the families as fully informed as possible. We continue to do so."

The Guardian reports tragic scenes of families hearing the news. Their reaction is understandable and was expected: paramedics were sent to the Beijing Hotel where families were called to an "emergency briefing." 

Discussion Starters:

  • Assess the prime minister's statement to the press. How well does he deliver the bad news? What is the organizational plan?
  • Assess Malaysia Airlines' statement: what works well, and what could be improved?
  • What's your view of the text message? Typically, texting isn't the best way to deliver bad news. Could this be an exception? Why?