Behind this link is the Los Angeles Times' front page, which features a graphic photo of recently-deceased U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens. The page drew strong reaction from readers. Should they have run it? →


For what it’s worth: The New York Times’ new public editor, Margaret Sullivan, asked the question Wednesday after the Times ran the photo online. She decided it was worth running, but said this: “I would not want to see a similar photograph on the front page of Thursday’s print edition, where its prominence and permanence would give it a different weight.” The New York Times did not run it on its front page Thursday morning, but other papers did.

For several years now there has been an escalation of printing photos of people either in their final moments or just after death. Is the shock of the moment warranted a place as “newsworthy” or is the shock value likely to turn people further away from print media?

If you can’t find a moment’s privacy in death, what chance do you have on holiday in Provence?

  1. gallerynextnow answered: This has always been a strong debate between the managing editors and the photo editors. Always draws angry response from readers. I say “No”
  2. globalpaws answered: This is so disrespectful.
  3. schizoidvow reblogged this from tarsjusz
  4. seealltheprettythings answered: No, in respect for the dead and is faimly they should not have run that photo.
  5. jlilah reblogged this from futurejournalismproject and added:
    interesting debate. personally I would not choose to run the photo on the front of the paper, but maybe someday that...
  6. orangetag answered: US papers wouldn’t run an image of OBL’s corpse, but this is OK? I’m at a loss as to why.
  7. retro-omniscient reblogged this from futurejournalismproject
  8. alexob answered: Yes, there is no sugar coating this.It’s a harsh reality but that’s just it. It’s reality and aren’t newspapers supposed to give us reality.
  9. hellolovelyscientist answered: It’s certainly not newsworthy. People don’t know what death looks like, except in the movies or if they’ve been in a disaster.
  10. cavalierzee answered: Yes. Politicians & media condemned Al-Jazeera for showing images of dead Muslims killed by the US or Israel. So let people see the reality.
  11. hellolovelyscientist reblogged this from futurejournalismproject
  12. dabnotu answered: Probably not, just as the printed media should not print images of former dictators or other anonymous civilians in their near-death moments.
  13. futurejournalismproject reblogged this from shortformblog and added:
    For several years now there has been an escalation of printing photos of people either in their final moments or just...
  14. assortedbeans answered: I think we need to see images sometimes for us to realize what is truly going on. Pictures speak louder than words.
  15. usernameninetynine answered: Also often missed is the people in the photo were taking him to the hospital, not ‘dragging’ him so maybe that makes is newsworthy?
  16. dew0319 answered: It was shocking. But sadly, Yes..Because in Print or Hearing it reported makes it a Story….We feel too safe and to far removed to really st
  17. tanya77 reblogged this from shortformblog and added:
  18. subjectiverealities answered: Journalism is objective, it is reality, no matter how gruesome.
  19. eatsalaska answered: A “similar” image that comes to mind of an American dead/dying was that of Robert Kennedy on the floor at the hotel in LA. Powerful, but…?
  20. poorrichardsnews answered: Yes, this photo made the rounds as propaganda on the jihadist websites, and Americans deserve to see what happened.
  21. tr0tskitty reblogged this from thepoliticalfreakshow
  22. bco answered: his children will one day come into contact with this photo due to the high traffic it’s received and that’s reprehensible.
  23. nighthart001 reblogged this from shortformblog and added:
    I’m kinda mixed on this too, but for a different reason. Yes, it’s an image of a man’s final moments, which should be...
  24. weatherwimp answered: The LAT editors were right, it was newsworthy.
  25. excitablehonky said: I suppose it’s more eye-catching than a flow chart of all the aliases used by the individual behind the film that led to this. Still, I wouldn’t have run it in a print edition, no. Seems desperate.
  26. stephananderson-story answered: Seeing that just made this story much more real for me. Started to get teary eyed and then very angry at Mitt Romney
  27. shannonmariesmith reblogged this from shortformblog and added:
    The age-old dilemma of to run a photo or not to run it, with the slippery slope/catch 22 of knowing if you don’t run it,...
  28. revelationcity reblogged this from shortformblog
  29. camerxn answered: Poor taste. No concern for his grieving family?
  30. mohandasgandhi answered: No way.
  31. tarsjusz reblogged this from shortformblog
  32. thepoliticalfreakshow reblogged this from shortformblog
  33. reallyfoxnews said: Fox ran this photo yesterday as well, on their homepage.
  34. shortformblog posted this