Thursday, August 27, 2015

How Do You Handle the Taped Murders?

A broadcast reporter and photojournalist were shot and killed on live television yesterday.

Not only does the video of the live broadcast exist but so does a video created by the shooter, who documented the execution and then posted it to his Facebook page.

Should journalists show the videos? Or even still images from the video, such as what the New York Daily News did here?

Does showing the video and images reveal the horror and make it more real or is it too brutal for society to bear?

18 comments:

Yanuara Ramirez said...

While I do believe that it's very important to report events such as these I feel like some discretion is needed. In first place, the footage is very graphic and I don't think it should be displayed on the front page of the newspaper. While I do understand that journalism is a business and that the images will draw reader's attention, some kind of warning would be better. It's unfair to profit from a tragedy such as this one, unfortunately if it's not on the front page of on the newspaper's website most people will come across the footage through social media or other means.

Shane McGinley said...

With such a sensitive and controversial topic, I think it is foolish to have a person or a small group of individuals decide if the world should see these images. Posting such graphic images on the front page of a newspaper forces one to see these images whether he or she wanted to or not. The Daily News may claim it is a journalist's duty to deliver the news to the public, regardless how heinous. However, the company is truly attempting to gain valuable ratings through striking images. Not only is this insensitive, it is unprofessional. The proper way to deliver such traumatic news is to give the reader the option to see the images. This goal could be accomplished by keeping the stories online with warnings before one clicks on the article. Moreover, you could keep these images in print, yet keep the images in the middle of the paper, shielding innocent pedestrians of the images while they're walking by the newsstand. Through these minor adjustments, the Daily News could fulfill their journalistic duties while keeping their professionalism.

Hallie Kearns said...

I believe that journalists have the right to show the videos, but not on the front page of the newspaper. They should tell viewers or readers that what they are about to see will be very graphic. The Daily News should not have had the pictures displayed on the front page especially since it is disrespectful to the victims and their families. Journalists can get their message across in a different manner rather than displaying the graphic content. If somebody really wanted to see what happened they would be able to find it on the internet. The videos and images of the event do not need to be shown on the front page of the paper for somebody to be aware of how horrifying the event was.

Geneva Heffernan said...

The approach that many news outlets took while addressing this news story to release the videos online, up until the actual shooting, seemed to be the most appropriate treatment of this sensitive footage. That way, journalists exposed the videos and information to the public audience as they should, without taking advantage of the graphic details of someone's death. The realism that some argued to be a positive aspect of the public having access to footage would still be present, but the horror would be moderated.

Jon Dowding said...

In my opinion, the newspaper has every single legal right to produce or publish whatever they may like in their newspaper. This headline definitely is making a statement about the issue of stricter gun control and is bringing even more attention to the issue. Regardless of the legalities, the paper should use their own common sense and discretion, when needed, while reporting about sensitive topics such as this. In the media today, it seems to be challenging to report on an atrocity while maintaining some sense of compassion for those affected by it. The paper could just as easily shown the pictures of the deceased on the front cover instead of showing the last few moments of an innocent person's life.

Nick Gervasi said...

There is a certain boundary for journalists and the media. These boundaries can be crossed occasionally, but only with caution. This went above and beyond those boundaries. This is a person's death caught on tape. If this was your relative on the cover in her final seconds of life you wouldn't want to see that. Legally, what was done is allowed and doesn't break any law, but journalists have to be considerate of how people will feel when they see an insane man killing a harmless woman. I understand that journalists have a job to do, but I see more negative than positive outcomes with this cover.

Ashley Paskill said...

I think it is very important to show videos of instances like this. For me, while it was disturbing and upsetting, it helped me to feel more connected to the journalists. One of media's roles is to entertain, but it should not refrain from showing these sorts of videos because it is not the media's job to make us comfortable. Should there be a warning of how graphic a video or image is? Most definitely, since that gives the viewer the choice to watch/listen.
The newspaper cover was WAY out of line. While I obviously believe in free speech, I also believe it is a newspaper's job to report news tastefully, which was not done. The language (slay, executed) was a bit harsh and the pictures show the shooting, not allowing for a person to decide if they want to see them or not. Pictures of the victims in a happy setting would be more appropriate for a cover, with something about shocking and graphic pictures on the inside so a reader can choose to look or not.

Jesse Atkins said...

The front page of the New York Daily News was certainly jarring; it's not every day that we're presented an opportunity to watch someone's final moments frame-by-frame. But I believe that too much time has been spent debating the Times' right to use such graphic content. For one, the news industry is a business. The people who work for these papers have a job to do, and whether we like it or not, they seem to have succeeded with this front page. Most of the Daily News' readers are not subscribers, meaning that the paper relies on people choosing to purchase it off the newstand each day. Customers have clearly done that and more, as an incredible amount of publicity has surrounded the Daily News in the last forty-eight hours. Were ethics lacking in the decision? Maybe. Was the job, in terms of its end goals, done well? Definitely.

Furthermore, it's important that we keep perspective when passing judgment. I personally dislike the front page, but I will never argue that they should have done something different. As journalists (or prospective journalists, rather), we should appreciate everything that the First Amendment provides us. Ethics, rights and wrongs, and opinions belong to the individual. Once we as a society begin deciding what people should and shouldn't see, we're heading down a slippery slope.

erin blewett said...

It is a journalists responsibility to allow the public to remain informed of the daily goings on of society, but I can attest to the fact that it should be done in a respectful manner. The usage of the images and videos of the execution of these two journalists is out of line and not necessary to the story.

Josh Wilson said...

To me, I didn't see a huge issue with this cover. It grabs the readers attention to a serious issue, and gives a brief and fairly accurate description of the story. The purpose of the newspaper is to report the news, and while the cover seems to have the intention of simply selling more copies, it's an issue that needs to grab the attention of readers. It's not an incident that should go unnoticed.

This also deals with the issue of censorship. Should news companies really have to change the story, and make it 'lighter' to make people happy? Good journalism is factual journalism, that doesn't stray from the real story. This was a brutal and terrible situation, that should not be 'fluffed up' in order to make people happy. The real, accurate, raw story was intense, and it makes sense that the article, as well as the front page, should be as well.

Vince Coll said...

The cover is 100% attention grabbing and as reporters that is exactly what they try to accomplish. I would have an issue with the cover if it weren't the truth or cut up to add an affect, etc. however this cover is brutally honest and exactly what happened. Should journalists show the video? That to me is a bit of grey area because as it was the truth, it is very graphic and hard to watch and I feel the pictures suffice just fine.

Thomas Beck said...

I feel as if the graphic exploitation of this event is completely inappropriate. Consumers gain nothing of substance from viewing the photographs and videos of this horrific occurrence. Those who read about and watched coverage of the murders don’t need to be further poisoned by the explicit images and footage that is being offered to them. Such allowance will only lend itself to the perpetuation of gratuitous violence and overwhelming desensitization of Americans everywhere.

Robert Wurtenberg said...

I , myself, do not really have any issues with this being the cover. Sure, it definitely is something that is horrifying, but this is what the biggest story was and in order to let people know and understand what actually happened, this was the best way to do it. The footage is absolutely graphic, but the world needed to see this so they could understand.
In my opinion, this is good journalism and there should be nothing changed and I do not think people should really have a problem with this. I understand why the families of the victims would have an issue with this, but the rest of the world should be upset at what happened, not that this was the front cover.

ayahalkharscontent said...

Sometimes it's important to show very graphic images, maybe not of people dying, but of the aftermath. For example you have Aylan Kurd's photo a 3 year old toddler washed up on turkey's shores, it brought more attention to the migrant problem and it showed people how urgent this issue is, it also put a face and a story to the issue, where before people just thought of them as people who are trying to use other countries resources, now are looked at as people who need help asap. But, with this issue putting that on the cover raises no issues, it does nothing, so sometimes it is needed, sometimes its not.

zuri hoffman said...

I think this is an issue that conflicts with the publics right to stay informed without censorship and also journalists giving the public news in a tasteful way. This is a very difficult topic because while some audiences may want to see the video and even still images that show the explicitness of the killing, others may not because of how graphic and horrific this event is. As we discussed in class, Journalism is a business, and because it is a competitive business news sources want to reach the masses. Keeping that in mind I think the Daily news did what was best for their business, knowing this story is so horrific and unbelievable they put it on the cover of their paper in hopes to draw people in. We live in a society where horrific events occur all of the time, so I don't think image is too much for society to bear. The truth of the matter is this is a real life event. I think if Journalists were not showing the images and video, they are sweeping it under the rug in a way, not giving their audiences the truth. By doing that it would not bring light to the true horror of the event, and it would not receive the attention it ultimately deserves.

Kira Runk said...

This is a very controversial topic whether news outlets should or should not provide graphic photos and videos when constructing a story that will be seen by citizens. Personally, I believe that news outlets should provide the raw graphic photos or videos of tragedies because it hits home with the audience that is watching. If Journalists did not show these raw images I would think as their audience that they are trying to hid something from me. I for one watched both the videos (the killers video and live video) of the shooting of the Virginia Journalist because I was interested in seeing how everything unfolded. I know for a fact that I am not the only who has watched the videos because just like I was people are interested in seeing what happened. Also how are horror films any different from graphic images shown on the news? There are blood and guts all over the screen when you go see a scary movie so why is this any different from seeing a picture or video in the news? Journalists have a right to provide us with latest stories and what happens and if that story happens to involve graphic images, so be it, it is part of the story. We as the audience have right to know what is going on around the country, matter-of-fact around the world. However, with showing these graphic images I think that news outlets have the right to let the audience know that what is about to be aired has viewer discretion. Then they have the choice if they would like to view it or not.

Anonymous said...

Kaci Lewandowski

It is very important for the news to inform us about what is going on in the world, especially things like this, but it could have been done in a more respectful way. The photo of the gun being pointed at the journalist did not have to be on the front cover because it is definitely a sensitive topic.

Anonymous said...

Adriana Vela
I think we should be aware what is happening around the world, Unfortunately this was very disturbing and I was so upset when i saw this clip. Showing the video and images make this more real and I think the journalist did a good job with how they informed us. Its sad that this happened but they were doing the right thing by letting the world know about this tragedy.