Week 14 blog- Maggie Reid

After reading about Lance Cpl. Bernard, I decided I would  have also published the photos of Bernard. AP justified posting the photos because they “showed the consequences of war”. That is true. Reading an article is not enough to get people to think. Actually seeing the harsh reality of war gets people to think.

It makes me sad that in order to show the harsh reality, the family of Bernard’s wishes had to not be honored, however. The photos showed the 21-year-old’s final moments, and now they were being shown everywhere in other publications due to the AP, which caused the family emotional anguish.

Photos of their son’s last moments were published for the world to see, which makes me sad, however I acknowledge the importance of images such as this. I just wish there was a way to honor the family’s wishes and also get images out there, but I don’t know if that is possible.  I did research, and found that they waited until Bernard was buried to post the photos. And that they did meet with the family in person, who disagreed with the pictures being published. Jacobson showed the image to other soldiers, who were not offended by the image.

They were respectful in these aspects, but they were not respectful by not carrying out their wishes, but it had to be done. It is important for these photos to be shown, because they create a conversation. They show the truth, how painful and horrible it may be.


James, Frank. “Photo Of Marine’s Fatal Wounding Sparks Debate.” NPR, NPR, 4 Sept. 2009, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2009/09/photo_of_marines_fatal_woundin.html.
Dunlap, David W. “Behind the Scenes: To Publish or Not?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Sept. 2009, lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/behind-13/.

2 thoughts on “Week 14 blog- Maggie Reid”

  1. Maggie thanks for going against the status quo and allowing us to see this issue from the other side! I still feel I couldn’t have gone against the family’s wishes, but then again, I’m thinking as a small town reporter rather than a national AP writer. You’re right, this does show the story of sacrifice and what was truly going on over there. I commented on Dan’s post that when considering Vietnam and all the misconceptions of that war, did we need to learn from our mistakes and is it our responsibility as journalists to tell that side and go into that detail? Then I could say you can argue we had the Right to Know.


    1. I feel like this was a very hard decision to make. However, I do believe in learning from our mistakes, otherwise history is just bound to repeat itself. I also think that the public should know/ and should have the right to know what is happening during war. I do believe it is the journalists responsibility to go into detail and to report what is going on, because otherwise the public will never truly know or understand.


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