How would you feel if you saw an alleged bomber stare you in the eyes on a local newsstand? Not just any suspect -- one who has caused extreme devastation at the Boston Marathon just this past April, killing four and injuring many. The same man who sent Boston into a state of panic.
When Rolling Stone released their August cover, the cover was not adorned with a rock star as per usual. Dzhokhar (Jahar) Tsarnaev appears on the magazine, with the headline: "The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster."
A state of incredulity took over me as I viewed this disgraceful work, glorifying the man who made a tragic mark on the lives of so many Bostonians. While the citizens of Boston are definitely Boston Strong, the city still feels the aftermath of this event every day.
Americans have become hungry in this age, doing anything they can to get publicity. News is no longer about morality. The media is becoming a group dedicated to gaining readers instead of informing them.
One particular episode of the HBO show, The Newsroom, rang true to this point. The episode featured the shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others. The producer tried to push the news anchor to declare Giffords dead on the show explaining, "Every second you're not current a thousand people are changing the channel to the guy who is," after receiving a report that the congresswoman was dead.
However, the news anchor acted upon his moral human senses in the wake of this tragedy stating that "it's a person. The doctor pronounces her dead, not the news."
The media today has become insensitive, doing anything they can to get the story. They don't care how tragic an event is -- it is all about the story. Rolling Stone wanted a cover story that would shock readers and entice them to buy the magazine, while in reality the controversial cover has offended many.
When the picture was released on the magazine's Facebook page, comments started pouring in attacking the decision to highlight a bombing suspect like he was a rock star. Among the remarks were comments on how long time subscribers were planning to unsubscribe, and a Do Something petition to have this cover replaced.
Ethical journalism is all about not being inconsiderate, insensitive and immoral. Sometimes decisions should not come down to an attempt to create controversy, and instead an attempt to not offend those who are still battling the aftermath of the events.
Bostonians are still recovering after the bombing, an event that interrupted one of their most sacred traditions and harmed so many. By publicizing the man behind this damage, Rolling Stone is traumatizing many and losing readers.
Our journalists need to learn to take a step back and think before they print.
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