We asked for readers’ opinions last week on whether a certain video should be posted to a newspaper’s website. Whether to air such a video was posed at an editors’ convention the week before.
Briefly, the video shows a deer wounded by a hunter. Trapped and unable to escape a stream due to his injury, the deer is found by the hunter the next day. His efforts to dispatch the animal are inefficient and torturous.
We received more than 20 responses, with the majority saying that the video should not be posted, that a description alone would suffice.
Two examples posted below show readers’ thoughts on the matter.
We don’t have the video and thus are not considering posting it on our website. But while we would not be interested in “pandering to the gutter,” as Mr. Machado suggests below, we do think that sometimes the news value of a painful video would warrant its airing.
Think for a minute of the TV commercial which highlights the plight of homeless dogs and cats. The video, accompanied by a mournful tune, drives home the message far more than mere words could do.
Recall videos of starving children, neighborhoods torn apart by war or the attack on 911. In every case the news value of these difficult to watch videos overrules our sensitivities.
The key phrase is news value.
It’s something to think about.