Week 14 Blog

The situation regarding twenty-one year old Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard is a very delicate but simple scenario. Although Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson was just doing her job, the request from the Bernard family to not have the picture shown should have been enough. In the Guardian, U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates called out Jacobson on her lack of compassion towards the situation and the family involved. I agree that Jacobson lacked compassion, but I also see her justification as valid as well. Writing an article on war would only do so much. Pictures tell a story words can only try to convey. I felt as if the image was published not to publicize a gruesome death, but to show in depth the effects of war in real time. Although sharing a powerful image to convey a message, as a journalist, Jacobson should have shown compassion towards the Bernard family. According to AP,  showing the reality of war was apart of their journalistic duty, and also showed Bernard’s sacrifice for the country. All justifiable points, but the AP lacked total compassion in regards to his family. The grieving process is something that takes time. No family, especially the family of a fallen solider,  should spend that time revisiting the gruesome image of their son’s death.

Cook, Steven A., et al. “AP Explains Picture of Dying Marine.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 4 Sept. 2009, http://www.politico.com/story/2009/09/ap-explains-picture-of-dying-marine-026762.
Hinsliff, Gaby. “Pictures of Dying Marine Bring War Home to America.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 Sept. 2009, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/06/dying-marine-fury-america-afghanistan.

2 thoughts on “Week 14 Blog”

  1. Good job Mark and I would have decided not to run the photo out of compassion for the family. Reading further about this debate, Jacobson did have other photos and I would have considered those in telling the story rather than something so graphic. At the same time publishing that photo did bring about a public awareness of what was going on and started the conversation of whether the U.S. should remain involved. Publication did bring about good, but was the cost necessary to the grieving family?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The publication did bring out good, but you have to respect a grieving family regardless of the message of the photo. Blatantly ignoring a family’s wishes makes the publication look selfish and shows a lack of human emotion.


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