guys you are – that’s my poor attempt at Yoda. Epic fail. Anyway, I just wanted to say you guys had some great insights for this week’s discussion and I LOVE that you’re even asking each other questions or encouraging them to see the “Other Side.” 🙂
When it comes to the audience, they are more or less considered the supporters of a particular platform. However, they should not decide editorial decision in the media simply because they are more followers than self –taught leaders. The audience with no disrespect can be less be less educated on certain subjects compared to the people who have studied them for years. Yes, the audience has the power to decide what is best for their community, however, most people in an audience might not think for themselves unless they think outside of group though. Without thinking outside of the box, an audience cannot truly have ideas of their own, which is why they cannot make editorial decisions.Another problem with community organized journalism is that it could be taken over by activists instead of the actual citizens themselves. according to page 220 in the textbook, they said, “While this example of public journalism sought to increase community involvement, plenty of critics wondered whether the paper had taken on an activist role it should not have. (Rosen, 1999, pp. 27-33)”
However, It could also be said that subjective though could also ruin editorial decisions because of one person being the informational gatekeeper for everyone else’s ideas or perspectives of what happens. This is why polling is a big deal because it is a better way of providing public opinion on a topic that is conflicting or controversial. Polls are not always accurate but neither are humans in the grand scheme of things. The audience has a right to express their opinion under the first amendment. However, they do not have the right to make editorial decisions without the editor’s consent on the matter.–
When it came to taking the photo of Captain Bernard’s injuries, The Associated Press (AP) had the rights to take the photo. However, there were some backlashes in order for the photo to be put up on the article. The journalists defended the decision even though Defense secretary: Robert Gates denounced the Associated Press’ decision the leave the photo up. When it comes to someone with a high position such as the secretary of defense, the associated press would still have the right to make the decision and are protected under the freedom of the press.
I would be nice to have to OK gesture from the marines, but you do not need their approval unless the information was not public knowledge. Classified information would have been protected. However, Captain Bernard’s injury happened in a public setting, which would make it legal for AP to publish the article with the photos to match.
Despite the AP having the right to publish the photos they would suffer some backlash in the process. However the backlash would mostly end up being harsh criticisms of the photos being published, and not for weather the AP should face consequences for it. Other than criticism, the AP should not have to suffer any other consequences for publishing the photo.
Most of you felt the photo should not have been published not only out of respect for the family, but because he was a soldier who served his country and there should be a level of respect shown for him, and rightfully so. But say this was a photo of a child killed by the Taliban or who was a suicide bomber? Any change of thought?
If I had been the editor for the Associated Press, I would not have published this photos of Lance Cpl. Bernard in the “Moment of Death in War” coverage. While some journalists defended its use and agreed with the decision, I believe that blatantly ignoring his father’s request to not use the graphic photo was unethical.
I do believe that getting the “go ahead” from the Marines was an important part of the decision to publish, however, that would not have influenced my decision to publish against the family’s wishes. In my opinion, the photo should have only been published if the father hadn’t expressed his opposition to it.
The article How Newsrooms Handle Graphic Images of Violence from Nieman Reports discusses the ethical questions surrounding publishing images of violence and death. It emphasizes the importance of these images being published in order to inform of an event’s severity and make stories more impactful, while also expressing concerns about how some may be too traumatic for children or people with close connections to the subject.
With this in mind, I think that even though the photo showed “the real consequences of war,” I think this could have been accomplished using other information, such as the death toll and personal stories told by Marines’ families and perhaps other photos that weren’t necessarily of one specific individual.
Write 200-300 words as if you’re putting on the editor’s hat in the 2009 “Moment of Death and War” coverage, Plaisance, Pg. 180. Would you have published the photos of Lance Cpl. Bernard? Why or why not? Do you think having the “OK” from the Marines for the photos prior to publication would have influenced your decision? Why or why not? Do you feel the photographer had to show those photos to the Marines for approval first? What conditions would have resulted in you publishing or not publishing those photos as a news organization?