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Le Monde's reaction to the latest attacks

French Media Refuse to Publish Terrorist's Photos

Autor(en): Tanner Aynes , Shirley Lou am Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016
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Quelle: Karolina Grabowska STAFFAGE | Flickr


The French newspaper Le Monde announced that it will no longer publish photographs of terrorists. Their reasoning is a fear of Glorifying the terrorists.

In an editorial article published on Tuesday July 27th entitled Resisting the Strategy of Hate director of the newspaper Jerome Fenoglio stated

"Following the attack in Nice, we will no longer publish of those who carry out massacres to avoid the possibility of glorifying them photographs in death"

The horrific murder of an 85-year old Catholic Priest in Rouen, Normandy was also a deciding factor for Le Monde.

Fenoglio then added:

"These reflections, these debates, these adaptions, to an enemy who uses our own weapons against us are indispensable if we want to break the strategy of hate".

Dr. Dominik Petzold, journalist and lecturer at LMU here in Munich gave his expert opinion on Le Monde's shift in policy. In a statement Petzold said:

Die öffentliche Wirkung ist ein wichtiges Motiv der Attentäter – die Medien müssen verhindern, sich dafür instrumentalisieren zu lassen. Es ist zumindest ein guter Anfang, keine Bilder der Attentäter zu veröffentlichen. Diese bieten ja auch keine Informationen, die die Öffentlichkeit erhalten müsste. Hoffentlich folgen viele deutsche Medienhäuser dem guten Beispiel von Le Monde.“

The public impact is an important motive for the attackers – the media has to prevent being used for it. It's at least a good start to stop publishing photos of the terrorists. These don't offer any information that are important for the public to receive. Hopefully many German media stations follow the good example of Le Monde.”

Le Monde's Previous Protocols

This isn't the first time Fenoglio and Le Monde have taken a strong stance against the way mainstream media reports on acts of terrorism. In 2015 after the firs IS attacks in France Le Monde made similar public statements that they would no longer publish exerpts from IS propaganda or their statements.

Other News Outlets Follow

After Le Monde published this statement other French media outlets have made similar reporting changes. Media organizations like radio station Europe-1, Catholic newspaper La Croix, and televison stations BFM-Tv and France 24 have all made promises to no longer reproduce photographs of terrorists.

Not Everyone Agrees with Le Monde's Decision

Critic's of Le Monde's policy would argue that when a terror attack happens the public deserves to know all of the information uncensored. One of the loudest voices against the policy shift at Le Monde is Michel Field, the executive director of news of France's state-run television stations. In his statement against Le Monde Field stated:

“Our duty is to inform, it's the right of the citizens to be informed. And we must resist this race towards self-censorship and grand declarations of intention”.

Regardless of criticism, it seems that Le Monde is going to stick with this policy change in light of recent events. To conclude his editorial article Jerome Fenoglio wrote:

“We owe it to all the victims of the criminal group known as Islamic State and since Tuesday July the 26th we owe it to the memory of Father Jacques Hamel, assassinated in his church”.


Platte des Monats

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