Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » Should Advocate publish photo of Osama bin Laden's body?


We had a lively discussion during Tuesday afternoon's news meeting about the possibility the White House would release a photo showing Osama bin Laden's body.

The United States is considering releasing the images to quash doubts about whether the al-Qaida leader is actually dead. Of course, the immediate next question for the media is how to handle such a graphic image.

We debated these options and would like to hear from you:

-- Publish the photo on the front page. Rationale: It's the biggest news story of the year.

-- Publish the photo on an inside page with a warning on the front page. Rationale: We won't upset as many readers with this softer approach.

-- Publish the photo online only. Rationale: Online users are actively seeking the image and less likely to be offended.

-- Don't publish the photo in print or online. Rationale: We don't need to show people such a gruesome image.

Among a group of about 10 editors, we didn't reach a consensus. Some argued strongly that we shouldn't shield our readers from the news and shouldn't drive them to other sources for it. Others said the breakfast table is no place for a photo of a man with a bullet in his head and said the image would be too sensational for a family newspaper.

We certainly don't expect all of our readers to agree either, but we'd like you to join the conversation. Which of the four options would you like to see? Do you have another suggestion?