Don't print pictures of dead reporters

From: Name & address supplied Subject: Death photographs I refer
to the edition of Press Gazette dated 23 September 2005 and to the
picture, on page seven, of a murdered independent journalist in Iraq.

I
wish to record my dismay at the decision to publish such a distressing
image. More importantly, I also write on behalf of a friend whose
husband, a television journalist, was murdered by terrorists in the
Middle East and who was deeply shocked to see such a graphic and
distressing picture.

The publication raises a number of important
questions: Was permission sought from the partner/family of the
journalist to print a picture and were they provided with a copy for
prior approval?

The public has been inundated with images of
death and suffering since the war began, what particular contribution
to the story does this picture make?

Why was there no regular head and shoulders picture of the journalist?

This
image not only robs him of dignity, but will be profoundly upsetting to
many who knew him or knew of him as this will now be the only picture
they will remember him by.

Was any consideration given to the
point that these sorts of images are normally only associated with the
perpetrators of violence who have been killed?

There are now many
hundreds of bereaved families and friends who have lost loved ones in
horrific circumstances while on assignment abroad. Did anyone pause to
think about the impact this picture would have on these people?

This
was a piece of irresponsible and sloppy journalism. We learned very
little about the journalist (not even his age or nationality), but were
presented, without warning, with an image of him, the contents and
prominence of which were deeply disrespectful and insulting to his
memory.

Has it now become the case that the mere availability of
these sorts of pictures justifies publication and that there is now no
scope for debate about the appropriateness or implications of their use?

Name and address supplied

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