On August 14th AP photographer Julie Jacobson took a photo of Lance-Corporal Joshua Bernard, 21. They were both in Afghanistan and he’d been hit by a grenade and his leg was very badly injured. Despite the efforts of those tending to him, he died hours later. His parents and the White House asked AP not to publish, but AP went ahead. Was it right to? This article covers the arguments from AP and from the US government.
Actually wounded or killed soldiers shouldn’t be paraded before the cameras, out of respect for them and their families. In their griefs or graves they don’t need to attract public pity. people already know about the horrors of war through the previous wars archives like the WWII.
The picture at hand can have the adverse effect as it will be celebrated by the Taliban as a further example of what they see as a heroic act. While the soldier’s family and comrades are lamenting his death, the Taliban will be dancing over the picture.
During 1991Gulf War, the UK government complained to Iraq when the Iraqi television showed two captured British pilots whose plane had come down. That was considered against Geneva Convention. Recently, a mass grave of British soldiers who had fought in WWII was found in Germany. The skeletons of the soldiers weren’t shown on TV screens out of respect for them.
The point is it’s no use trying to shock the public about a war when they already know what it is about. At least the press should have pity on members of the public who get sensitive when they hear about the death of a soldier, let alone they are shown the circumstances in which s/he died.