There is considerable controversy about the decision by the Associated Press to distribute a photograph of a Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan. I’ve written extensively about war coverage over the years, and I spoke with MSNBC on Friday about the news organization’s decision in this case.
Based on what I know, the Associated Press went through a purposeful, thoughtful process in deciding to distribute this photo, and I believe that the AP’s decision was journalistically sound and ethically justifiable.
Importantly, the Associated Press photo is accompanied by a substantive, sensitive AP story that recounts the battle in which Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard was wounded. That story also tells us a good deal about Bernard, including comments from his father and fellow Marines in his squad. Read more