Dec 9, 2012

M(*S)MMM # 252 -- The Death Picture Quandry

     The decision by the NY Post to publish a photo on their front page of a man about to be killed by a subway train prompted an avalanche of criticism. The headline below the photo, not visible in this photo, reads--in all capitals-- DOOMED!
     That link leads to a N.Y. Times education blog that refuses to show readers the photo, yet links to another Times page where they can see it. Talk about having it both ways!

     I'm not a fan of tabloid journalism, but how is The Post's picture different from The Times own decision to publish the famous "falling man" photo from 9-11? One of the people who jumped from the Trade Center Towers to avoid the fire.
      Because we don't know who he is?
     And how about the man being executed, an award winning photo from the Vietnam War!

     And it brings to mind the infamous Anniston Alabama story in which a man set himself on fire and called a TV station in advance. The station never aired the film, but the networks did.
     Death will always be a part of news coverage. Always. And the line between a Pulitzer Prize winning photo, and one criticized for being too graphic, will continue to move.

[The Monday (*and sometimes Sunday) Morning Media Memo is a regular feature of]

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