Were editors right, or were they wrong? The debate in the comments on this article are interesting; I can see both sides.
It was shocking to see video footage of a man, literally caught on camera red-handed, explaining why he had butchered another human, over and over on the rolling news.
But it was a shocking thing that had happened and I'm not sure we can pick and choose when it's right to shock people, and when it's not.
If it's acceptable that a newspaper prints photos of children' bodies in bloodied shrouds being carried by their parents in Syria, should we turn away from this?
Could dead bodies be filmed being drawn from the rubble of a collapsed factory in Asia, but not in the UK?
I think in the time and turnaround available, the photo of the attacker was always going to be THE picture of the next day's front pages.
If a photo of the serving soldier had been provided, it probably would have given the nationals a pause as to the front page, but that was never going to happen given the timeline and procedures.
Hence, this debate.
Privacy issues aside, I think this paragraph is useful to bear in mind when talking to anyone in Journalism who doesn't want to respond to comments, or Tweets, that are critical.
"Getting better at something without feedback is very hard. Imagine practising penalty kicks by kicking the ball and then turning around before you saw where it landed; a year or two later someone would visit you at home and tell you where your kicks ended up. This is the kind of feedback loop we contend with when it comes to our privacy disclosures."
According to NYT CEO Mark Thompson “[T]he launch of the pay model is the most important and most successful business decision made by The New York Times in many years. We have around 700,000 paid digital subscribers across the company’s products so far and a new nine-figure revenue stream that is still growing.”
According to PaidContent: Commencement speeches are, by nature, restricted to this sort of soaring stuff. A skeptic, however, might note that the New York Times‘ digital subscription model has already begun to plateau and that the company is still shedding ad dollars and assets."