Should newspapers show true, graphic images of a tragedy like MH17?

Children’s books. Jumpers, playing cards, a toy monkey, guide to Bali, travel toothpaste. The mundane horrifies when it drops 33,000 feet.

Few of the images sent to us from those wheat fields in eastern Ukraine are publishable. None of the photographs I have seen broadcast by news media reveal the catastrophe found by journalists at the scene.

Rightly so. The i paper’s picture editor, Sophie Batterbury, describes herself as squeamish, but says she thinks that “we should show death – we cannot completely sanitise the world”.

Sophie adds: “It is our job to tell the truth, but also to filter that horror for readers… not to show gratuitously violent images.”

An editor must consider the effect of each picture on the reader; psychological violence can be inflicted through words, but far more brutally with a photograph.

Oliver Duff is the editor of the i paper.

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