WXXI AM News

Connections: When should the media publish graphic photos?

Jan 3, 2017

On Monday, December 19, a Turkish assassin shot and killed Russia's ambassador to Turkey. Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici captured some remarkable images of the immediate aftermath, including the killer ranting with a finger in the air, the ambassador's body lying just a few feet away. The New York Times, among other publications, chose to run that photograph on the front page, despite its graphic and disturbing nature. A number of readers protested that decision, saying that the image was too grisly, or that it glorified terrorism in some fashion.

We discuss such decisions, and why even the most disturbing images can have vital news value. Our guests:

  • Max Schulte, Democrat & Chronicle lead photographer
  • Jenn Poggi, assistant professor of photojournalism at RIT, and former photo editor for the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report