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Alison Parker and Adam Ward (Credit: WDBJ)

The New York Daily News defended its publication of graphic images from a gunman’s video of the murder of journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward yesterday.

iMediaEthics called out the Daily News last night for crossing ethical standards in running the sensational, gratuitous images.

The Daily News told the New York Times that the editors thought the rest of the media was “sanitizing” the murders and they wanted to “convey the true scale of what happened.”

“An email statement from The Daily News said that the motivation behind publishing the images was to take a clear stance for gun control and to shake a public that had become desensitized by the media’s ‘selectively sanitizing a heinous crime that was literally broadcast live on TV,'” the Times repored.

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“That is why we published the images,’ the statement continued ‘to convey the true scale of what happened in Roanoake, by a deranged man who filmed murder especially for airing on social media, at a time when it is so easy for the public to become inured to such senseless violence.'”

iMediaEthics notes that while the attack was on TV, the Daily News chose images from the gunman’s video of the murders showing the gun pointed at Parker and her terrified reaction upon realizing it. WDBJ’s own video coverage didn’t show as graphic images, as the camera was dropped while it was pointed toward the gunman.

The Agence France Presse reported in its own story on the reaction to the Daily News‘ coverage that it did use two images from the gunman’s video, acknowledging the video amounts to propaganda.

“We finally decided to send two screen grabs from the video to our clients,” editor-in-chief Phil Chetwynd is quoted as saying. “We included the startling image of the gun being pointed at the unsuspected journalist but we did not show any images depicting the actual shooting or its aftermath. We also did not move any video images to clients.”

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NY Daily News, AFP on why it used Images from Virginia Gunman’s Murder Video

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