Home > Uncategorized > Would you run this photo, Thursday lab (153)

Would you run this photo, Thursday lab (153)

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  1. Allyson Felt
    October 16, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    As an editor, I would not personally run this photo. It definitely captures the emotion involved and how distraught the man is but as far as visual appeal goes, I do not find this photo very appealing whatsoever. The man has died and is bloated. As much grief as this photo portrays, I can’t say I’d want to see this on my front page or any front page for that matter. In Nebraska, it could be said that no one would know this man and no face is shown. I still feel as an editor, I would not want to show this photo.

  2. Nicole Manske
    October 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I would not run this photo if I were editor. The immediate gut reaction it gave me is not one I would wish upon any of my readers. I think it is in bad taste to run it and believe it would be offensive to far too many readers. It does have strong news value, but so would a story that described the story well. A picture of the man mourning alone rather than alongside the body could prove as emotional without the crossing the line of decency.

  3. Garret Durst
    October 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    If I were an editor, I would not run this photo. I think that the photo is too dramatic and emotional. There would be some readers that feel like this photo is too graphic and touching. I’m sensitive about photos that show death and emotion, so this image is crossing the line. A photo like this would stir up controversy. So it is best to leave the photo out. I don’t think the family of this dead man would be happy about showing this image for everyone to see. I would think about what if this photo was myself. I wouldn’t want people to see this.This is a private photo that shouldn’t be run in any paper.

  4. William Whited
    October 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I would run this photo, but not as a front page centerpiece. The photo depicts the dead and bloated body of a family member of the mourning man. It seems to me that the mourning man’s emotions are captured perfectly and the photo has strong news value. However, the story would need to play into the bigger issue (and bigger story) of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border into the U.S. Editors cannot please every audience member. Some controversy is needed to keep readers’ attention and maintain reader feedback.
    The reason I say this is because the Associated Press has other photos that are more gruesome in nature, including pictures of injured civilians who have their limbs blown off by explosives in countries such as Iraq. This photo, while it may not please all readers’ tastes, is less violent and gory than the coverage of the wars and violence in the Middle East.
    Have you seen photos of U.S. soldiers turned amputee veterans returning from service in the Middle East?

  5. Teresa Lostroh
    October 20, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I would run this photo under certain circumstances. However, it would not be very prominent. If the photo supplemented a story about the lengths to which suffering Mexicans go to reach the “promised land” of the United States, then yes I would run it. That’s the only instance I can think of for this photo to be in a newspaper anyway. I believe an article with personal stories from Mexicans who’ve either gone to such lengths or have family members who’ve done so would fit well with this picture. It effectively shows, in just a few seconds, a foreigner’s desperate attempt to escape poverty (most likely) and the effects it has on a person who loved him. Unfortunately, news cannot always be flowers and cupcakes. Often, people complain about that not even being news. However, others would feel as if this photo has gone too far. It’s difficult to find a point where everyone will be happy, but it’s an editor’s job to identify what is news. This is news, in my opinion. It evokes emotion and would make me want to read the story packaged with it.

  6. Teresa Lostroh
    October 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    In addition, the faces are by no means distinguishable, and the names are not included in the captions. That helps the photo’s case. Very few people other than his family and friends (many of whom are probably still in Mexico) would be able to identify the men in the picture by their outfits and body types.

  7. Elizabeth Gamez
    October 21, 2008 at 12:08 am

    My instant decision would be to run the photograph. I almost wouldn’t mind it being run somewhat large. Yes, it’s gruesome to look at but journalism is about truth. The truth is that many Mexicans cross the border to find freedom and to rise from poverty. My decision would especially be supported by the fact that the picture took place on Independence Day. It’s ironic that we find ourselves celebrating our great country that day and find someone else desperately trying to reach it. It really tells a story. Having grown up by the Rio Grande, I’ve heard and seen these kinds of stories too often. These stories I feel are necessary to tell so that they bring awareness to the rest of the country. Also, the picture nor the caption say who these people are. If I was editor, I’d expect controversy and angry mail but I’m well ready to defend my decision.

  8. Courtney Robinson
    October 22, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    As an editor, I would not run this photo because of its impact. As an editor, I would be asking myself, “Who else may know these people?” “What about the others who tried to cross the river?” “How does portray the U.S.?”
    I know that as an editor, I am supposed to love photos that have a huge impact; however, this photo is too much. Photos like this, I don’t believe they need to be shown in a newspaper – not on the front page or any page. I would couple this photo with the photo with one portraying a father holding his dead child. I wouldn’t run that photo because of its intense impact, and I wouldn’t run this.
    Therefore, I would disagree with the Associated Press Managing Editors Association. I agree with their reasoning for why it was a great photo, but not a great photo to be shown in a newspaper.

  9. Grant Triplett
    October 22, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I would run it. I am not the most ethical of individuals and I’m not afraid to admit it. This picture definitely lures readers in to read the caption, not to mention the story. If you are doing it for shock value and grotesquery, then yes it’s pretty sick to show, but if you’re doing for journalistic merit and to appeal to readers’ attentions, then go for it. I would run it. Size doesn’t matter to me, nor does front page. You either run it or you don’t.

  10. Stephani Ruiz
    October 23, 2008 at 1:57 am

    My immediate reaction is not to run this photo. But, after considering the photo, I think it’s important to include. Reporters can write as many words about a tragedy, but in the end, they’re just a talking head. The visual aspect of this photograph portrays a message that needs to be understood. I think that in time, conflicting opinions on immigration policies become just like most other political issues- another argument filled with facts and figures from each opposing side. It’s easy to forget that these are real issues, affecting real people everyday. This photo shows two of those people who are deeply affected by an issue that is easily brushed aside by policymakers because of the deep-rooted controversy. After seeing this photo, maybe the readers will think differently about the story they are about to read and instead of thinking about it in terms of the masses, they will think about it with a more emotional connection.

  11. Marlenia Thornton
    October 23, 2008 at 3:00 am

    I would run this photo depending on how relevant it would be to the news story, and if I could not communicate the importance or the message of the story any better to my audience. I think as editors we should be cautious of photos like this because of its sensitivity. As journalists, we are supposed to try our best to minimize harm and be aware of the amount of damage we could be doing by running a photo like this. After a great deal of thought and probably after hearing some opinions around the newsroom, I think I would run this photo because of its great amount of emotion, its ability to powerfully communicate the message, and the faces are hidden and not easily identifiable so I think there not a great deal of harm that could be done, but I would still be very weary of doing so.

  12. Max Wohlgemuth
    October 23, 2008 at 4:43 am

    I would run the photo. With out a doubt the photo is striking and conveys emotion. It is too good to not run. The accompanying story would determine how big and on which page to carry the story. The typical newsworthy factors apply such as proximity and timeliness.

    Its the news. Stuff happens. It is the editor’s job to give the people the news. The readers (depending on the paper) pay to see the world as it is. Most readers do not want their news sugar coated before they read it.

  13. Jamie Klein
    October 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    As an editor of the newspaper in Las Rusias, I wouldn’t run the photo because I think that would be too close to home and perhaps too much for people in Las Rusias to see, I think there is too much of a chance that people would recognize the two men.
    But let’s say I was the editor of the San Antonio Express News, then I would run the photo. But only on the condition that the accompanying story was well written and explained the circumstances surrounding how the photo came to be (not necessarily those two men specifically, but how these kinds of situations arise for immigrants).
    If the story wasn’t strong, then I would not have the photo run. To run that photo with a weak and poorly written story would appear to me like a newspaper shoving a dead body in someone’s face in a poor attempt to sell papers, but to accompany the photo with a strong story would develop more context for the reader and the photo would be even more compelling than it already is.

  14. Matthew Butts
    October 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I figure that the Associate Press knows more than I do about quality photos, but I was shocked when I first saw this. If the newspaper was located in the area, I wouldn’t run it because for the community, it may be too much to handle. If the newspaper were located elsewhere, I wouldn’t run it because the news wouldn’t matter to the readers. It would be only for the shock value. I could just as easily covey my message without the bloated body of a dead man.

  15. Sarah Tenorio
    October 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I would not run this photo because there are many ways to capture the news that it’s portraying and ethically I don’t think it’s the best way to do it. I do agree that it’s a great photo but the average reader who steps outside his or her door in the morning would be shocked be the photo. This is someone who is dead and also someone who died doing something illegal. As an editor I would consider the family mourning this person. It’s just not the way anyone wants to remember a loved one.
    I understand that it’s a great portrayal of the dangers of illegal crossing the border but the cost is too high. There are other ways to get the same message across without showing a dead body so close up.

  16. October 23, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    i would run this photo b/c it is well composed and has emotion and also tells a story. it is intriguing and makes you want to know more about the story. maybe its a bad transfer but the technical quality is suffering, maybe just due to a poor scan.
    although it could be considered insensitive to the family of those involved, i think the photo helps put a human side to an issue like immigration that is usually discussed only in statistics.

  17. PJ
    October 23, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    This is late. I completely forgot to do this. If you don’t want to grade it or down-grade it or however, I would understand. My apologies.
    I am torn about this photo. It bores me. I get it. Emotional, gut-wrenching, etc. Too easy. Especially given the subject matter, it’s nothing new to the public, who obviously care very little. A similar picture involving an entirely new development would make more sense, but this one just feels like exploitation. On another hand, I hate censoring based on public “sensibilities.” The public needs to face things. The mere fact that they don’t care, it could be argued, means they should have to look at things like this. People live in too great of protective bubbles they build around themselves. It’s a horrible commentary on society. So in that sense, I guess it should be run.

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