The consequences of war are gruesome. Most citizens of a country at war are aware of the costs. Unless a news organizations goal is to get more people to care about these consequences, I would not have published Lance Cpl. Bernard’s pictures. There is no good reason in publishing the image unless to put it at the forefront of people’s mind’s perhaps to affect change in policy or some other underlying agenda. A news organization’s job is to inform strictly for that purpose. So, considering that posting Lance Cpl. Bernard’s image would probably not make a significant amount of unaware people interested, the cost of inflicting more pain on the family outweighs the benefit. People who weren’t interested in the details of war before the image are likely to avoid it because of their predisposition to such things.

Though it could be argued that the people have a right to know and that the family had already seen the image of their fallen child, I would also not post it out of respect for the fallen soldier. Publicizing the image would probably prolong the pain of the family. Considering this, I would be limited by my morals. News organizations also have a responsibility to minimize harm, and publicizing the image would be further injurious to the family.


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


2 thoughts on “WEEK 14”

  1. Alex thanks for mentioning harm. While in a lot of cases harm overlaps privacy, it is important to tackle privacy as a separate issue. Also, it shows that you remember something you’ve learned in class and you were able to apply it to other situations. YAY! The harm of publishing this photo for the actual family is clear, however, what is the potential harm to the public?


  2. Not showing the image isnt likely to harm the public. Not showing images for smething like an impending hurricane is something of concern. The only other thing I can think of is harm associated with having too many ignorant people in a society. We need people to be aware of the consequences of war in order for them to have good input in a democratc society. Uninformed opinions would probaly lead to mass support of poor policies in realtion to war and American involvement in the governemnt of other countries .


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