There is a story today in USA Today that broke my heart. Two girls, it is not clear whether they were sisters or cousins, needed to use a field to go to the bathroom because there were no toilets. They were gang raped, murdered, and their bodies left hanging. They were 14 and 15.
According to USA Today, “Indian TV footage showed the villagers sitting under the girls’ bodies as they swung in the wind, and preventing authorities from taking them down from the tree until the suspects were arrested.”
I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty clear image for me. I don’t need a photo to show me more. However, USA Today (and likely countless news organizations) got what I assume is a still of the TV footage via the Associated Press and it’s online accompanying the story. Do we really need to see two dead teenage girls swinging from a tree to be horrified and enraged beyond belief?
And then there is the advertisement for Verizon that sits to the right of the image. Murdered teenage girls on the left, a time limited offer for Verizon on the right.
Has it come to this that we must further defile young women, murdered in the most heinous of ways, by posting pictures of their dead bodies to bolster news stories? Must we plaster their images everywhere in the most gratuitous of ways and then slap on advertisements as if looking at two dead girls is nothing more or less than looking at a story about who was wearing what on the red carpet?
Rape and murder are horrific, we shouldn’t need images to show us that and adding advertising on the same page is so foul I just don’t even have words.
This is not journalism, it is sensationalism and it must stop.