Friday, February 25, 2005

Izvestia's coverage of Beslan

Neeka blogging from Neeka’s Backlog wrote: “Sadly, Izvestia's previous editor, Raf Shakirov, was forced to resign in September 2004, after devoting the whole P1 to a huge photo of the horror in Beslan.” I read Neeka’s blog and I really like it but in case with this remark I think Neeka, being a journalist herself albeit a young one, had to give more consideration to the matter. Fist, she had to see these photographs personally. Second, she had to ask the opinion of the journalists who worked with Raf (aka ‘Mini Hitler’) at Izvestia. For all my friends who work at Izvestia the day of Rafik’s resignation is like another birthday of the newspaper. Sadly, too many professionals were forced out during that period.
Although a lot of American and European newspapers mentioned these photographs they never published them. There is a good reason behind the decision. Such photos by all formal standards are considered child pornography. In the US and many European countries simply keeping these photos at a computer’s hard drive would be enough to be accused of pedophilia. Maybe photos with naked boys and girls are considered porn only when children are alive? Maybe if they are dead and mutilated it’s ok? I don’t think so.
Needless to say Raf didn’t care that the parents were strongly against publishing the photos. Raf's obsession with publishing photos with severed heads and hands, intestines, splashed brains has nothing to do with journalism.
Last but not least. Izvestia is an independent newspaper and has nothing to do with the state. Raf was fired not by Putin but by Potanin. I were the owner of Izvestia I would do the same.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a journalist since some 15 years. I work at the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dabladet and I have the Izvestia front page from september 4th on the wall beside my desk. Nobody has accused me of displaying child pornography. Yes, we have discussed whether these pictures could have been published in Sweden, but that is a question of taste or of professional ethics, nothing else.
Kalle Kniivil?
www.kniivila.net

Konstantin said...

Kalle, I think I know what you mean. If we go all the way with formal guidelines then Rafaello's pictures of cherubs is also child pornography. The pictures in Izvestia were meant to shock not to provoke necro/pedophiles. Yet I don't believe that when Sydsvenska Dabladet writes about a police raid on some pedophiles' exchange ring, it publishes pictures with subtitles "Look what these bastards did to poor kids".

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