Editor: Citizen journalists' crash photos were 'horribly intrusive'

A local newspaper editor has rejected photos sent by readers from the scene of a fatal road collision because they were “horribly intrusive”.

Ian Carter

Croydon editor Ian Carter didn’t use crash pictures on grounds of taste.

Ian Carter of the Croydon Advertiser said his paper received several photos in the aftermath of the death of 18- year-old local girl Becky Cooksley, who died in a crash in Norbury on 18 August.

He said: “On the one hand, we actively encourage people to send us things when they see something, but it’s just a question of knowing what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

The Advertiser first reported the story online, and soon after, readers began leaving online comments on the story.

Some complained that onlookers were taking photos of the crash on their mobile phones, and before long the pictures started arriving – many from one person who also asked for payment. The paper used none.

“Some of the pictures that came in – no editor would use them on ground of taste. If we had a reporter on the scene, they would have known what they were doing and known what is acceptable to newspapers,” said Carter.

Along with many local weekly newspapers, the Advertiser has been an enthusiastic publisher of readers’ photos, and published a 12-page supplement of readers’ photos of recent flooding in the area.

But Carter said he felt that “citizen journalists” should apply the same standards to their mobile phone pictures as professional photographers do.

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