The day of Saddam Hussein’s execution in Iraq is nearing. It could come as soon as this weekend, according to Associated Press reports.Journalists already are asking questions like, “Should we publish a photo of a hanging Saddam Hussein?” Generally at The Evening News we don’t print photos of dead bodies, either in the newspaper or on monroenews.com. When we photograph fatal accident or murder scenes, for example, we try to find an angle that tells the news without showing the body. When we select photos from war zones, we try to find images that accurately depict what happened, but without closeup views of fatalities.
The goal is to comprehensively report the news, but in the most tasteful manner possible. Many of our readers have told us they prefer a family-oriented newspaper and Web site, one their children can read without worrying about nightmares.
There are exceptions to every rule, however. The execution of Saddam Hussein will be one of the stories of the decade. Will readers be expecting the full, graphic version of the story, including photos of the hanging? Does the importance of this story overshadow our guidelines?
We probably won’t decide until we have the story and photos in front of us. What do you think we should do?