Friday, March 02, 2007

The front page that never was

This is the front page you never saw in this morning's Trinidad Express.
For about 30 minutes last night this was the front page, complete with powerful picture, compelling headline and details of how this bandit was shot dead by the shop owner he tried to rob.
I'll admit that I was seduced by Jermaine Cruickshank's dramatic picture.
The way the gun has just fallen from his hand and how the dog is calmly going about his business.
But the unfortunate reality here is that bandits are shot regularly and our reporting of crime comes under public scrutiny on a daily basis. I just couldn't come up with a good enough answer as to why we should run it - save my base journalistic instincts just to use a good picture.
So: wise decision based on sound principles or a poor decision based on a lack of conviction? You decide.

3 comments:

  1. Camille Hayes2:31 AM

    Definitely wise decision based on sound principles. Please accept my oh so humble apologies for questioning your credentials. In my defence though, I thought you were someone else with a similar name. I therefore accept your comment as a compliment and not a 'mamaguy'.

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  2. Tiffany Bethel9:12 PM

    Photographers for our daily newspapers need to take into account, the overwhelming emotional trauma a photo of a dead man or woman can have on an individual. Are we too heartless? What will those pictures do to a mother, father, brother or sister? These pictures are too graphic and can distraught anyone. So how about a photo of the crime scene or pure perfect writing. Leave the rest to our imaginiations

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  3. Firstly, I must say that this is one of the cleanest front pages I've seen from a Trinidad newspaper in a while in terms of the design. Aside from that, I understand the quandary you would have been in. Jermaine's photo is indeed quite strong - but he has always had a good instinct for photos that assault the senses, so to speak. Especially if it involves girls in shorts! But anyway, I think one has to be careful about such images further desensitizing a society that already reacts to such things by shrugging and then talking about when the next big lime is. If it was my call I think I would have run with it still though. Yuh cyah play mas and fraid powder…

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