Le Monde, The New York Times of France, has decided not to publish the names and photographs of terrorists—a stance that all media should take to restrict what the news outlet calls “the posthumous glorification” of these wingnuts.
In an editorial, the French news organization called upon others to follow its decision, arguing that publishing such information only leads to new recruits for the self-proclaimed Islamic State and other radical groups.
“For us, this battle cannot be considered only the cause of law enforcement, intelligence services and other people. It concerns all of society, and primarily those that constitute our media landscape,” the editorial said.
I have called for this type of self-censorship for years because an analysis of the motives of such brutal human beings does nothing but make some people feel a misguided compassion for them. We shouldn’t care about knowing their names, their goals and their trials and tribulations. Let’s dump these people on the garbage heap of hate.
Let me suggest one other change. Call these murders “homicide” attacks rather than suicide attacks. Homicide more accurately describes what they are doing.
I feel strongly about these issues—not only as a journalist but for selfish reasons. A man with a name similar to mine killed nine people last year in Oregon. For the rest of my life, this murderer’s name will come up before mine in any Internet search.
Anderson Cooper took one small step for the American media when he decided not to name the killer in the Orlando massacre.
Let’s hope other news outlets follow LeMonde and Cooper in their decision to grant these murderers what they deserve: anonymity.
Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org
A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so. His piece from last week, in case you missed it is here.
Please consider Subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.
Plus of course all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.