LATimes Readers Rep on Graphic Photo on Front Page

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


Home » Ombudsmen/Press Councils»

(Credit: AFP/Getty)

Los Angeles Times’ readers’ representative Deirdre Edgar blogged Dec. 8 responding to readers’ concerns over a graphic photograph that ran on the front page on Dec. 7.

As Edgar explained, the photo showed “the aftermath” of “the attacks on Shiite Muslim gatherings in Afghanistan, which killed at least 59 people.” Specifically, the image highlighted a “blood-spattered young woman, screaming as she finds herself surrounded by bodies.”

According to Edgar, Los Angeles Times deputy managing editor Colin Crawford said that “we never run this type of image without discussions at the highest levels of the newsroom.”  He explained the “news value” outweighed any concerns about the photo’s graphic nature.

The photo was taken by Agence France Presse/Getty photographer Massoud Hossaini. The New York Times and Washington Post also published the photo.  The New York Times blogged Dec. 7  about the photograph and noted that Hossaini said he cried  while he took the photos.

“I was taking pictures and I did want to help,” he is quoted as saying. “But I just saw that the bodies were completely destroyed and I said, ‘O.K. I can’t do anything for them, so I have to wait for whoever comes.’”

Submit a tip / Report a problem

LATimes Readers Rep on Graphic Photo on Front Page

Share this article: