There's an ongoing discussion in newsrooms across Canada and the United States right now following the on-air deaths of journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward.
It's a dialogue about journalistic ethics, morals and consideration for the audience but at the crux of it all, it's a question of "how much is too much" when it comes to covering graphic news stories.
The New York Daily News is facing criticism for their Thursday cover which shows single-frame stills taken from a video produced by Vester Lee Flanagan. Flanagan was the suspected gunman accused of killing Parker and Ward on live television. Flanagan later died from a self-inflected gunshot wound when confronted by Virginia State Police.
To see the Daily News front page, click here.
The first image is of a gun that is pointed at Parker as she seems unaware that there is any immediate danger. In the second image you can see the muzzle flash from the gun as it unloads.
In the third, you see Parker's face turn to horror as she is struck by the first bullet.
Critics of the cover say it gives Flanagan exactly what he wanted: attention. Another argument is that the image is inappropriate for children who might see it passing by.
But then there's this counterpoint by Gawker's Sam Biddle.
Biddle asks if it even matters if Flanagan is "getting exactly what he wanted" now that he's dead. As for the graphic nature, the journalist counters with how easily people forget the kind of access children now have thanks to the internet, let alone the violence showcased in movies and video games.
In his own words: "It’s horrific, graphic, and gruesome—and it’s important that everyone looks at it."
Biddle goes as far as to call the cover a "good newspaper front page" since the cover forces an uncomfortable but necessary discussion on America's gun control laws, or lack there of.
What are your thoughts on the cover? Let us know in the comments below.
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