The most important reason not to show these videos is the element of copycat shooters. In the future, troubled and angry people might see the videos of Cho, the Columbine killers, and Rodger and decide to get their 15 minutes of fame as well.
Why do the media have so little place in their editorial imaginations for the pain of these wars when the people hurting aren't ours? Why do they dwell on a bruised fist while ignoring the face it shattered?
By the standards of other countries, the U.S. approach to official secrecy is ferocious. For leaking hugely newsworthy information to the press, Snowden could go to prison for life. Elsewhere, punishment for making official secrets public is less severe than the penalties here for driving drunk.
Each of us, if we have smartphones, can record and transmit video with more independence and greater reach than the top-tier broadcasters of a generation ago. We have the power to expose wrongdoing, and we also have the power to hasten the destruction of privacy.
It's a very ambitious plan that will require a gargantuan effort on journalists' part given the stakes involved, as members of parliament and ministers are not obliged to divest themselves of business interests.
The reason ombudsmen matter isn't the direct way their reporting may serve the public, although some do. It's in the way their existence signals an acknowledgement that accountability is right there, at the core of news culture.
The public is being poorly served by the Post's decision. The ombudsman's job is important because it implicitly signals that a major news organization recognizes its power and wants to construct an internal check on the exercise of that power.
We'll leave to the FBI and Secret Service the question of whether the hacking warrants legal reprisal. My interest is in what sort of respect Bush's privacy deserves from the media that received the hacked materials.
"Native advertising" is all about deception. Even if, at some level, you understand they weren't put together by the magazine's staff, you're still expected to see them as partaking of the magazine's trustworthiness.
Great news photos often come with a moral taint. Maybe it's the gaze they enable, the way they distill misery, desperation, injury, sorrow into mere spectacle. We look, but we're torn by contradictory impulses: To witness, and to avert our eyes.