Friday, June 26, 2015

Charlie Hebdo

The decision on whether to or whether to not publish the cartoon of the prophet Mohammad is a difficult one, and one that can not be taken lightly. This is not a matter of free speech, or freedom of the press, this is a matter of the safety of the employees of publications. As an individual, I would not hesitate to post the image on my Facebook or Twitter, however, if I was the editor of a newspaper or magazine I would likely not run it. I think that before running the image, I would have a secret ballot vote at my publication asking every employee if they were comfortable with my publishing it. If one person said they were not, I would not run it. I do not care in the least about offending members of any faith, be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism. Religion is a choice made in life and open to all criticisms. However, due to terrorist acts from extremist groups against publications like Charlie Hebdo, I would want the full support of my staff before I ran something that could endanger their lives. I agree 100% on Steven Pollard's tweets about the decision, and it is likely the same decision I would make in his shoes. I would love to have seen every magazine and newspaper in America publish the cartoon, but I wouldn't put someone's life at risk without their full consent. The story can be told without showing the cartoon, and in this day and age with everything accessible on the internet, it just isn't worth it.

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