iMediaEthics is pleased to announce that our report “Troubling Double Standard, American photojournalism’s different treatment of foreign victims,” has been named a finalist in the sixth annual Mirror Awards.
The Mirror Awards are given by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications as a way to highlight journalists “who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.” According to an announcement from the school, the contest received more than 300 entries.
The names of the award finalists are released today, and the awards will be given June 13 in New York at the Plaza Hotel. In total, seven awards will be given in categories like “Best Commentary, Traditional/Legacy Media,” “Best Profile Digital Media,” and the “John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting.”
iMediaEthics’s December report, by iMediaEthics publisher and editor-in-chief Rhonda Roland Shearer and iMediaEthics Pakistani correspondent Malik Ayub Sumbal, is a finalist in the “Best Single Article, Digital Media” category.
Our story highlighted a double standard in the U.S. media in which photos of dismembered American victims’ bodies are rarely, if ever, published, even though photos of dead non-Americans will be on the front page.
Besides the high-profile example of the numerous graphic photos and footage of a dead Muammar Gadhafi, Shearer and Sumbal highlighted the media’s reporting on the 2007 assassination of Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
24 people died during the attack that murdered Bhutto. The Associated Press and Getty Images both released numerous photos of dead or dismembered Pakistanis.
Those photos were published — unblurred — by news outlets including the New York Times, even though similar photos of Americans would likely never run in the U.S. media.
Further, news outlets including the Associated Press published photos from the Bhutto murder crime scene of an unnamed man wearing a brown jacket who was shown reacting to the carnage.
But, none of the news outlets that published photos of the Brown Jacket Man identified him by name. The Associated Press identified him as a Bhutto “supporter,” but the wire service never interviewed him. iMediaEthics also secured an interview with the Brown Jacket Man, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, four years after the Bhutto murder, in which Khan told us his memories of that day.
This report was the first in our series on the media’s inaccuracies and failures in reporting on the Bhutto murder.
The four other finalists in this category, “Best Single Article, Digital Media,” are:
- Joshua Benton, “That was quick: Four lines of code is all it takes for The New York Times’ paywall to come tumbling down” (Nieman Journalism Lab)
- Paul Ford, “Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?” (New York Magazine)
- Lauren Kirchner, “AOL Settled with Unpaid ‘Volunteers’ for $15 Million” (Columbia Journalism Review)
- Mallary Jean Tenore, “In real-time, journalists’ tweets contribute to a ‘raw draft’ of history” (Poynter)