Capturing Trauma: The Ethics of News Photography


News photographers capture all types of events as a method of storytelling and documenting history. Some of these photos depict traumatic situations, like the last few seconds of someone’s life. Should newspapers run these photos? How should editors make these decisions?

May I Share Your Photo?

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Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, became angry during the holidays after a photo she shared with her “friends” on Facebook was reposted on Twitter. Zuckerberg said asking before posting someone’s photo is about human decency. What do you think? Should social media users seek permission before sharing other people’s photos?

Quote Approval as an Attempt at Media Control

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Sources regularly ask to preapprove questions, conduct interviews via email, review quotes, or read stories before they are published. All of these requests are an effort to control the information the public receives through the media. Do you think quote approval or review should be allowed? Are there times when this practice is more acceptable than others?