Analyzing How News Organizations Display Death

Air Date:
Heard On The Morning Show
Police tape near Reno Ave. in Las Vegas
Part of Reno Ave. near South Las Vegas Blvd is blocked with police tape in the aftermath of a mass shooting Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Oct. 1. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, with dozens killed and hundreds injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

In December 2016, an Associated Press photo garnered much attention and landed on the home pages of news organizations such as The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. It featured a gunman gesturing and shouting after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, who lay in the background. The photo went on to be named Photo of the Year in the 2017 World Press Photo Contest.

Death Makes The News: How The Media Censor And Display The DeadPhoto courtesy of NYU Press

Devastation and death are considered newsworthy. But what makes an image of death “fit” or “unfit?” When is it award-winning and when is it inappropriate? Join us as we consider those questions and more as we take a broader look at how U.S. media covers death and how readers and viewers react.

Listeners, what do you think? Do U.S. news organizations do a good job when it comes to how they display death? If not, what do you think the media should do instead? Let us know by calling in during the show at 800-642-1234. You can also share your story by emailing, posting on The Ideas Network Facebook page and mentioning @wprmornings on Twitter.

Episode Credits

  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Breann Schossow Producer
  • Michelle Johnson Technical Director
  • Jessica Fishman Guest

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