Shooting victim's brother criticizes media for 'horrific journalism'


Paul Ercolino, whose brother Steven was killed outside the Empire State Building Friday, called in to New York's WFAN Monday to talk about his brother's love of sports. He also criticized the media for using graphic images of his brother.

The horrific journalism that's going on surrounding my brother -- and the scalding headlines and the pictures that were in the New York Post and The New York Times that my family had to see and endure, to see those pictures that were the most horrific pictures. They gave Osama bin Laden more respect and dignity than my brother, sprawled out over the -- with blood coming from him. So I would just make a plea to everyone who's out there that are reading these stories. There's a family behind, grieving and dying for one of their own right now and we need all your support.

The New York Times defended its use of the image. “It is an extremely graphic image and we understand why many people found it jarring. Our editorial judgment is that it is a newsworthy photograph that shows the result and impact of a public act of violence," Eileen Murphy, Times spokesperson, said in an email to Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon.

Poynter's Kenny Irby told me, “The New York Times photo, while it is incredibly compelling and disturbing, what makes it graphic is the blood, the color ... but blood is an inextricable part of a mortal wound.”

Ercolino said his brother would be buried Wednesday.


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