Why Gawker contributor posted photo of Trayvon Martin's body

Gawker | Bad Journalist.


Adam Weinstein writes on Gawker that his motivation for posting a photo of Trayvon Martin's dead body (which you will see if you click that link) was "Good old-fashioned rage." A tipster sent him the image last night, which Weinstein said he didn't see on TV. His source told him it ran on MSNBC for a "second or two," Weinstein wrote in an email to Poynter, after people in the court considering charges against George Zimmerman saw it.

"Opinion seems divided — and virulent — on whether its publication is clickbait (not my intention) or a critical part of the narrative around his life and death (my view)," Weinstein writes on his personal site.

Consider an interesting inversion: So often in American culture, we marvel how trial juries are not privy to information that we, as news consumers, can access about the issue at hand. In this case, the photograph was evidence, entered into jury consideration… and today’s debate centers on whether we, as news consumers, should be privy to the same information that is under consideration by this Seminole County jury, which deliberates in the name of The People of Florida.

The Zimmerman case went to the jury Friday afternoon.

Related: The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others | Trayvon Martin story reveals new tools of media power, justice

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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