Another Death Photo on Cover, But This Time Less Flak for New York Post

Wednesday, 12 Dec 2012 03:44 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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A little more than a week after publishing a controversial cover photo of a man about to be crushed to death by a subway train, the New York Post put out another issue with a chilling picture on the cover of a man about to die.

"Drawing his gun, this assassin is about to kill" reads the headline.

The photo, taken from a surveillance video, is of Monday’s “hit” in Manhattan near Central Park. In the foreground is a man now identified as Brandon Lincoln Woodward. He is staring into a cell phone, while behind him a still-unidentified man is drawing a silver-plated pistol from a pocket of his hooded jacket, getting ready to kill Woodward.

The Post got heavy flak from readers and media critics alike for running the photo of Ki Suk Han’s Dec. 3 death. In it, Han, 58, is shown struggling to climb back onto a train platform after being pushed onto the tracks. The train is just seconds away. Above the photo was a headline: “Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die.” Under the photo was a larger headline: “DOOMED.”

Critics point out there are major differences between the two photos. For one, the man who was killed near Central Park is not the main focus of the surveillance still. For another, the photo of the subway death was taken by a freelance photographer working for the post.

Also, the “hit” photo was published by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

“In the street photo we are seeing a crime unfold. In the subway photo, we are seeing a futile moment of struggle,” wrote Kelly McBride at Poynter Institute, a journalism-centered education resource “There is journalistic value in the street photo for two reasons: a) publishing it makes it likely to catch a guy who carried out a premeditated murder. b) We can document and share the documentation of a cold-blooded murder.”

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