The news we choose for you

Apr 012004
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff


Colleen Buhrer

Willow Welter

J.J. Babb

Patrick Crossland

Christopher J. Ortiz

Every day in newsrooms across the country, a group of editors

sits down and decides what will run in the following day’s

newspaper and what won’t.

Every day, these editors make decisions on what stories readers

will read and what images they will see.

Thursday’s New York Times front page showed the burned corpses

of American civilians hanging off a bridge. This was after the

bodies had been dragged through the streets.

Is there a difference between the corpse of an Iraqi and that of

an American?

The editors of the Times sat in a newsroom and consciously made

the decision to place that image on the front page.

Readers may question decisions made by the media and end up

arguing or supporting each decision.

Many readers may feel these images degrade those who were

killed, or that the decision to run the picture in one of the

country’s largest newspapers leaves those people without


This is the problem with ethics, and especially media ethics:

There are no absolute rights or absolute wrongs. Decisions editors

make upset some readers almost all the time.

But hopefully editors are making the decisions in the best

interests of the readers. They may hope that running a gruesome

photograph makes more of an impact than a straight news story

would, but we don’t have the answer.

We can only hope the decision-makers in newsrooms weigh the

consequences of their actions and take the significance of those

consequences seriously.

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