The Times defends use of David Cameron photo

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The Times used a photograph of David Cameron and his wife returning home after the death of their son because ‘it reflected the tragedy and pain of the loss of a child more eloquently than any number of words could”, its feedback editor has said.

The picture’s use was criticised by some readers as an intrusion into grief.

But Sally Baker wrote on Saturday: ‘We took great pains to treat the story carefully and sensitively, and the selection of photographs was a significant part of those discussions.

‘After considerable debate, as part of Thursday’s paper we published on an inside page a two-column colour photograph of Mr and Mrs Cameron returning to their London house in the hours following Wednesday’s announcement, their grief etched on their faces. It was taken by a news agency and was also used by most of Thursday’s newspapers.

‘We chose to use this photograph because it reflected the tragedy and pain of the loss of a child more eloquently than any number of words could and we felt it made an important contribution to our coverage of such a sad event.

‘It was not used lightly or carelessly or without consultation…it remains the view of the editor that we were justified in using a photograph that will have contributed to the enormous public sympathy directed towards the family.”

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