When Should We Publish Horrific Images?

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“The point of publishing horrific images is to anger, sadden, appall, help us mourn, teach us about the world, and make us feel compelled to act.”

Ruthie Ackerman discusses her decision to post photographs, with a disclaimer, of the corpses of two men who had been killed by a vigilante mob in Liberia.

For more on the web site Ceasefire Liberia and how it’s furthering the cause of citizen journalism on the Internet, see this.


Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →