• Conflicting Reports

Photo of Dying US Marine Sparks Controversy Over War Coverage

The Associated Press has released a photo that captures the death of  a United States Marine in Afghanistan — an image rarely seen during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The photo — which the AP sent to its subscribers Thursday morning was allowed to be published beginning at one  minute after midnight this morning. 

Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent a letter to the AP harshly criticizing its decision:

“I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family,” the secretary wrote. “Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

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AP Statement:

The Associated Press has distributed a package of stories and photos about Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, 21, who last month was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade during a Taliban ambush in southern Afghanistan and died of his wounds.

The package was transmitted early on Thursday, Sept. 3, to be held under embargo until 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, to give newspaper editors time to consider publication of one of the photos in the package, a graphic image showing Bernard being assisted by his fellow Marines in the midst of the firefight. AP also distributed the photo online in such a way that the image would not appear unless Web site operators allowed it, or readers clicked to signify they were prepared to see a graphic image.

The Associated Press has distributed a package of stories and photos about Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, 21, who last month was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade during a Taliban ambush in southern Afghanistan and died of his wounds.

The package was transmitted early on Thursday, Sept. 3, to be held under embargo until 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, to give newspaper editors time to consider publication of one of the photos in the package, a graphic image showing Bernard being assisted by his fellow Marines in the midst of the firefight. AP also distributed the photo online in such a way that the image would not appear unless Web site operators allowed it, or readers clicked to signify they were prepared to see a graphic image.

More on the story at:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004009394&imw=Y

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=55732

 

 

 

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