In this age of 24/7 news cycles and instantaneous social media coverage, directly answering a question to a potentially damaging situation can be fraught with anxiety. Whatever is said is digitally documented and distributed within seconds. In these instances, “no comment” can seemingly provide time and protection from media scrutiny. But in actuality, no comment can worsen a negative situation.
No comment is, in fact, a strong comment. By employing no comment, a person or company implies guilt, complicity or prior knowledge of the situation, and it alludes to an attempt to hide that knowledge. Savvy viewers and readers, who are used to having access to information, will give deference to an answer—as long as it is a cogent answer—even if it provides little clarity to the situation. Audiences do not require all of the answers; however, they demand at least one.