Gawker Retracted Graphic Murder Victim Photo

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Gawker retracted a graphic photo of a murder after readers complained. (Credit:Gawker, emphasis ours)

Gawker posted and then removed a graphic crime scene photograph of a recently murdered person, Christopher Jusko, the New York Observer reported.

The New York Times East Village Local blog also reported Jusko’s murder and did feature a photo, but Jusko’s body was covered with a white sheet.

Gothamist reported that Jusko’s stabbing was “over a woman” and as a result of “an argument over Jusko’s ex-girlfriend,” who lives in the building where Jusko was stabbed.

The photo was removed after friends and family of the murdered person complained.  The retraction reads: “Friends and family of Jusko have been in touch and asked that we remove the photo. We have decided to honor that request,” Gawker wrote.

StinkyJournalism e-mailed Hamilton Nolan, who is credited with the post on Gawker, and asked why the photo was published in the first place. In response, Nolan wrote: “We published it because we believed it was newsworthy.”

Some of the comments included those of “J.Cruel,” who identified himself as the roommate of Jusko’s brother.

“I am begging you to take this horrible picture down. I know you are likely receiving plenty of shocked e-mails about this image. I know it both bleeds and leads, but please, as someone who knows his family, do not let this be an image that his mother cannot escape from,” J.Cruel” wrote Oct. 28.

Other commenters likewise questioned the point of posting the story and called the image shocking.

Similarly TBD’s Ryan Kearney, who identified himself as a “good friend” of the Jusko’s stepsister, wrote wondering why Gawker, which pegs itself as providing “Gossip from Manhattan and the Beltway to Hollywood and the Valley” picked up the story.

He reported that Nolan e-mailed John DiResta that the photo was published because it “was newsworthy,” albeit “unpleasant and graphic.”

The National Press Photographers Association ethics chairman, John Long, reportedly told TBD that the photo didn’t need to be published, it seemed.  Long, who didn’t see the picture but heard about it from TBD, is quoted as saying, “It seems like there wasn’t any social necessity for this particular photograph.”

Further, Long explained that photos shouldn’t be removed “simply because the family objects, because then you’d be pulling pictures all the time.”  He asserted photos should be removed when they aren’t necessary.

UPDATE: 11/15/2010 10:39 AM EST: Added information about Jusko’s murder

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Gawker Retracted Graphic Murder Victim Photo

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