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A Frog's-eye view

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Sunday, May 18, 2003

This morning Reuters Israel saw fit to release the following photograph for publication to Al-Jazeera:

I called up Reuters' Head Office on Jerusalem (++ 972 2) 537 0502, and spoke to the photographic department, presenting myself as university researcher on media and war. I asked the lady who answered (an Israeli) whether it was Reuters' policy to publish pictures of dead victims of terror attacks. She would not commit herself to any statement, but told me that Reuters publish things as they happen, within certain bounds. I told her that after seeing these pictures, it's hard for me to imagine what the bounds could possibly be. Again she refused to comment, but admitted that she had responsibility for all pictures issuing from the Israeli office. I told her that I cannot imagine how she would feel if it were her parents pictured here, but that that was a matter for her conscience alone: I'm only interested to know whether Reuters have an official policy on such matters.

If you feel offended by such pictures, call up the photographic department of Reuters and tell them what you think. The main switchboard operates in English, and the lady in question (whose name I did not catch) speaks English very well.

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