Covering the Moment of Death in War

After reading the story about 21-year-old Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, I would elect to not publish the photo. Yes, it was Julia Jacobson’s job to be there as a photographer on patrol with the unit, but there is no way she knew what was going to happen. Taking pictures of Bernard as he was laying on the ground taking his last breaths was completely her choice and she knew it was her job to take pictures of what actually happened during war, and I’m sure she took so many photos that she didn’t have to use this one. While the photo of Bernard may have been the most impactful photo, but Bernard’s father asked AP to not use the photo. I believe that since Bernard lost his life defending his country, AP should respect the fact that his family did not want that photo of their son used nationwide. There is many of ways to show the effects of war without showing that photo, war has been happening since the dawn of man and there is enough evidence on how bad the consequences of war is. According to an article on the picture sparked a debate that divided the nation


Reporter, D. M. (2009, September 07). The image of a dying U.S. soldier has sparked a furious debate over the Afghan war which has divided America. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from

Plaisance, Patrick Lee. Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice. SAGE, 2014.


2 thoughts on “Covering the Moment of Death in War”

  1. I just had a thought and here I don’t disagree with you Dan…consider if this were Vietnam. Soldiers were scrutinized when they came back home, accused of raping women and being “baby killers.” Do you think that publishing such a photo would show the true picture of what soldiers were going through and their sacrifice during the War in Afghanistan, trying to perhaps sort of teach a lesson after what happened with Vietnam?


  2. I agree with Dan that since there’s a high probability that she took so many other pictures, there was no need to go against the father’s wishes not to use the picture.


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