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Times Editor Chris Lopez's weblog





Monday, May 16, 2005

Controversial photograph


We published this photograph from a Friday accident scene in the city of Concord. We spent a fair amount of time debating whether to publish the photograph given its visual impact of seeing an accident victim on the roadside with the fireball in the background. The person on the ground is not dead, but was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition, we're told. The accident did cause one death. I had two readers upset by the photography. Prior to publishing we discussed the need to be sensitive to the families of those involved in the accident and to our readers. We ultimately decided to publish based on the news value. What do you think? Would you have published the photograph if you were the editor?

5 Comments:

Blogger Brian Boyko said...

My instinct would be to say no. The picture isn't competely tasteless.

The problem is - It's a car crash. Unless the car crash involved a public official, unless it's part of a pattern of car crashes, unless it's part of a series on traffic problems, unless it has something to do with the information that people need to self-govern, then why waste the printspace and have more than a 6 inch brief?

12:07 AM  
Blogger Darnell Clayton said...

The picture will definately peak interest (which might lead to more subscriptions) but ultimately there really was no point besides a quick "economic gain" to show the photo.

Car accidents happen all the time, ans as Brian said, unless the car accident included someone "unique," then there was no reason to publish it.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Brian Boyko said...

I'd disagree with Hidden Nook - If I wasn't a subscriber to the paper but saw that photo dom on the newsstand, I'm likely to think: "Hmm, biggest story is a local car crash. No real news today."

10:08 PM  
Blogger selfpublishingtips said...

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2:15 PM  
Blogger Couch Potato said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on the lcdtv in the back of my Hummer.

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

10:06 AM  

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