Friday, September 4, 2009

News article

Today I ran across a news article that was picked up by newspapers across the country. There was a very graphic article about a Marine that was KIA. This article included a pretty graphic picture of 2 Marines taking care of him during his last moments. Their justification of running the picture was to show the reality of war.

Defense secretary Gates, and the family members of the Marine asked the associated press not to run the photo. But the AP Editors decided it was necessary.

The caption of the photo reads as follows:

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 14, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard is tended to
by fellow U.S. Marines after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade during a
firefight against the Taliban in the village of Dahaneh in the Helmand province
of Afghanistan. Bernard was transported by helicopter to Camp Leatherneck where
he later died of his wounds.

My heart aches for the family. I know a journalist job is to take pictures and journal everything. But I think discretion needs to be used in what is published. I think it was incredibly disrespectful for them to run the photo.

I am not including a link, but if you want to see the article I am sure you can search it and find it.

In wars past photo journalism has played a role. There are pictures of us dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Planting the flag at Iwo Jima, and pictures of the destruction at pearl harbor. So why is this one different to me?

I feel it is disrespectful to mass release a picture of such an intimate moment as this. Especially against the Families wishes, and against Secretary Gates wishes. I feel the picture maybe should have been archived if it was truly taken for historical documentation, but not necessarily released in such a public fashion.

I am very interested in other perspectives on this issue.


  1. I think it's disgusting for a news agency to publish things against a family's wish. Privacy shouldn't be a luxury. I despise the media and all they stand for. There is no need to report the news at all costs. It's just disrespectful, disgusting, and rude.

  2. I did see the picture your talking about. I think it is horrible! I couldn't imagine if that was MY marine, and I told them NOT to publish that, and they did anyways. Where is the families privacy at? And their wishes? I understand that they want to show what the war is "really" about, and to see the "truth" in what happens, but I don't think that they need to publish such a graphic picture of this poor marine that was killed. It's one thing for his family to know that he was killed, but another for them to have to view it, and to know that the whole world can see it too. So very sad!