The murder of Charlie Hebdo’s editorial team is just beyond belief.
How to respond to such an appalling tragedy is now something every editor, journalist and blogger has had to deal with. This is The Independent‘s front page, which rather than focus on the violence, demonstrates the power of a single cartoon to carry the story. But more than that, given how news constantly evolves on digital platforms, it reminds us that print is timeless.
Editor Amol Rajan talks really well in the Guardian about using Tom Brown’s illustration as the splash, but also the decision not to reproduce the Charlie Hebdo cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad, describing it as “too much of a risk”.
The New York Times made the same decision, but Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast did publish, suggesting that although digital reach is infinite, the endurance of print gives controversy real weight. And that makes the decision to publish in print so much harder.
There’s no right or wrong here, either way has its merits. But some news organisations have chosen to blur out the cartoons. That’s a rotten decision, as all it does is visualise the censorship. Here’s excellent reporting on that from Buzzfeed.