NY Post and Tampa Bay Times Get Blamed for Deaths

Another tasteful NY Post cover. (Flickr Creative Commons: extrabox)

The New York Post came under fire Tuesday when it published a front-page image of a man about to get run over by a subway train.  The front page had the Post-style sensationalized headline: “Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die / DOOMED.”  The photographer was criticized for not helping the man, while the Post offended many with what they deemed to be distasteful editorial treatment of a sensitive image.

Though these kinds of journalism ethics have been around since before the Internet was even an idea, the story raises questions about how the web will perhaps provide different ethical standards for photojournalism.  The kind of outrage that the Post’s editorial board faces will probably pale as more publications learn to coexist with the (mostly) censor-free online world.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times has been blamed for the suicide of a 39-year-old woman with “persistent genital arousal disorder” the paper ran a profile about last week, according to Jim Romenesko.  “The moment I read this story I questioned why it was being published by the Times,” said a frequent Tamba Bay Times critic, “other than the story’s obvious ability to drive readership and online traffic.”

About Michael Juliani

Michael Juliani is a senior studying Print and Digital Journalism at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He's a senior news editor and executive producer for Neon Tommy and an associate editor and contributor for the Online Journalism Review. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post, among other places.