Images of Horror From Fallujah

Perlmutter, David D.; Major, Lesa Hartley
June 2004
Nieman Reports;Summer2004, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p71
This article discusses the ethical issues that journalists had to consider in dealing with images from the killing of U.S. civilian contractors by Iraqi terrorists on March 31, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. The horror was caught on camera. Within hours, Fallujah video footage and photographs were made available to the world's newspapers, magazines and television newscasters. Almost as quickly, in nearly every U.S. newsroom, a debate on whether and how to handle these images began. Importantly, the process of addressing these quandaries was not kept secret or restricted to insiders. Many news outlets editorialized their reasons for using one image rather than another, and media columnists and commentators throughout the country expressed their views about these decisions on air or in print. What the U.S. citizens saw from Fallujah was determined by their news source. The New York Time ran on its front page The Associated Press photo in color, which included the clearly visible bodies with celebrating Iraqis in the foreground. Meanwhile, the Washington Post ran a cropped version on page A11 of the Ali Jasim (Reuters) photo with a smiling boy in the foreground. For the major television networks, decisions were visible in the editing. Not one network newscast showed the most graphic images, at least initially, without cropping, blurring or using long shots of the gruesome details. Many people don't appreciate that journalism is a messy process, not a conspiracy. When editors and reporters make public their debates about what is news, their humanity is revealed, even more so when they admit error. Readers and viewers get the opportunity to listen in as editors say, with sincerity, how much they care about the reactions and opinions of those they serve. INSET: Digital Photography and News Images.


Related Articles

  • PRESS PERFORMANCE.  // Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly;Summer2004 Supplement, p23 

    This article focuses on the subject index of the articles published in this journal. Some of the articles based on press performance are "Content Differences between Daily Newspapers With Strong and Weak Market Orientations," by Randal A. Beam, "Embargoes and Science News," by Vincent Kiernan,...

  • BUSINESS: Gentlemen of the Press. Wolf, Harold // New Republic;12/15/47, Vol. 117 Issue 24, p30 

    Focuses on the newspaper, Your Newspaper's indictment of the press for wholesale abuse of the American Society of Newspaper Editors' code of ethics. Criticisms posed by the authors on business and economic reporting; Description of the failure of business news in relating a news item to its...

  • INTERNATIONAL NEWS IN THE ARABIC PRESS: A COMPARATIVE CONTENT ANALYSIS. Abu-Lughod, Ibrahim // Public Opinion Quarterly;Winter62/63, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p600 

    This article focuses on the comparative content analysis of the Arabic press. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the extent to which the reading publics in various Arab countries are being exposed to news of international events. Secondly, the kind of information the press is...

  • Newspapers Industry Profile: Netherlands.  // Newspapers Industry Profile: the Netherlands;Feb2013, p1 

    The article presents a profile of the newspapers industry in the Netherlands since 2011. It states that the market performance and value was decreased by 5.9 per cent in 2011. According to the author, the Dutch market accounts for around 3.1 per cent of the overall value of the market in the...

  • International Gazettes and Politics of Europe in the Revolutionary Period. Popkin, Jeremy // Journalism Quarterly;Autumn85, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p482 

    Reports on the impact of independent international gazettes on the events of the late eighteenth century in Europe. Role of newspapers in the political system of Europe; Competition between international gazettes; Diversity of international newspapers' readership.

  • Social history.  // Columbia Journalism Review;Winter1966/1967, Vol. 5 Issue 4, p46 

    This section reviews the article, The Kingdoms, the Powers and the Glories of the New York Times, by Gay Talese, which appeared in the November 1966 issue of Esquire.

  • Critics of critics.  // Columbia Journalism Review;Winter1966/1967, Vol. 5 Issue 4, p47 

    This section reviews the article, Assessing Criticism of the Press, which appeared in the January 1, 1967 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

  • Presse et révolution en Tunisie : rôle, enjeux et Perspectives. Touati, Zeineb // ESSACHESS;2012, Vol. 5 Issue 1(9), p139 

    Our presentation will show the minor role played by the Tunisian printed press during the revolutionary process of 2011. We will also raise the main evolutions that have taken place in that field. Issues raised by the new situation and the challenges faced by the press will also be examined..

  • THE NEW GERMAN PRESS. Jacobi, Claus // Foreign Affairs;Jan1954, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p323 

    Germany is no longer the country with the largest number of newspapers, as it was before 1933. The end of the Second World War brought a basic structural change in the German press. After the capitulation in May 1945, the old papers were no longer allowed to appear. In 1948, after the currency...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics