September 1, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Grisly 'NY Times' Photo Draws Few Complaints

Editor and Publisher reports:
Today's grisly Page One photo in The New York Times of an apparently dead women slumped out the window of a bombed out bus in Israel drew a "small number" of complaints, according to Times officials, who said the disturbing picture was the subject of lengthy discussions before it ran.

"We acknowledge that the picture is unusually violent and grisly. Our editors thought long and carefully before choosing it for the front page," the paper said in a statement Wednesday morning. "They concluded that the picture was an appropriate way of depicting the horror of the latest violent turn in the Middle East, with 14 civilian victims and an apparent end to a six-month period of relative calm between Israelis and Palestinians.

"While we are determined not to present disturbing scenes unnecessarily or for mere shock value," the statement continued, "there are times when our readers would not be well served by a sanitized version of events. We believe that most readers expect us to give them a full and representative view of important news. We do regret the discomfort of readers who do not share that view in this case."

The photo was taken by Iian Zagdon of Reuters.

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