I recently covered a wreck on Highway 6 that claimed the lives of three people in this community. Less than 24 hours later, the paper is receiving calls, emails and visits about the manner in which we covered the incident.
I received photos from law enforcement that showed the burning wreckage that contained the bodies of the three fatalities.
It’s a difficult decision when you choose how to run a graphic photo. However, I maintain that the photo was newsworthy. I will agree that the photo is disturbing, given the context. But despite any impact it may have in this community, I firmly believe that it serves as a reminder to the general public that safe driving could have avoided the wreck.
I rate a photo or story’s newsworthiness on three factors: timeliness, gravity, and proximity. This story and photo met all three. The community is upset. Rightly so. I would be to. In fact, I am upset that the deaths occurred. But It was newsworthy and I am proud that the paper ran it.