Rolling Stone justification? It doesn't exist
In the past couple of days I have tried to remain opinion-less of the Rolling Stone cover with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, but I just can’t. Especially after some people are trying to defend it directly to me. Let me give you some perspective on why I am outraged at this cover. In 2007 I was working at the daily newspaper in Lynchburg, Va., when the Virginia Tech massacre occurred. Being less than 2 hours away from Blacksburg, this was a local story for us; for so many others this was one of those things they just couldn’t believe, shook their heads about it and then went on with their daily lives as normal.
For me, there was no escaping it; there's still no escaping it.
I lived and breathed updates on that story every hour for several straight days. We had two reporters on the scene, one of whom was a VT graduate. On another level, I was in constant contact with friends who are alumni – I'd say that I know at least 20 people who are alumni. I've been to concerts there; I've been to a few basketball games there; I've been to a handful of Hokie football games.
I don't remember the full timeline, but toward the end of that week NBC broadcast the video they received of the shooter; then the AP released many photos of this guy.
At the paper I remember wrestling with this decision of what do we show on the front page of the paper. His eyes? The guns? Nothing?
If I could go back in time I would shout to leave this guy off the front page … let's belittle him and not even show the thumbnail photo of him anymore.
Showing his photos and airing this creep's videos is what he wanted. It's also want others with his same mind-frame want to see. They know if they do it, the media will show it.
We'll never know if the Boston bombers really wanted to be glorified with photos of them in the media, but we do know that others out there admire them. If they go out and bomb a public event, could they get on a cover of a magazine too?
To add fuel to the fire, Rolling Stone is publishing this 3 months after the bombings. No editor can justify that to me. No one outside of the media business can justify that to me.
Some may argue that we're too sensitive now; that we need to see this stuff.
After we catch people who do this, what is the point of posting photos more than a few times? Why do they deserve a photo in a newspaper larger than 7 picas wide?
They don't. Again, no one can truly justify this type of glorification.
I'll get off my rant now and continue to run and focus on the greater good this world has to offer. …