Global News Outlets Divided Over Whether to Show Charlie Hebdo Cover

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The issue of whether to display the new cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which depicts a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, has split media outlets in the U.S. and overseas.

The image, showing Muhammad crying and holding up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign under the headline “All is Forgiven,” was blasted across the Internet Monday ahead of the magazine’s publication, the first issue of Charlie Hebdo since terrorists attacked its offices, killing 12 people.

But many news outlets, including NBC News, NPR, Britain’s Daily Mail, The New York Times and the Associated Press, chose not to show the cartoon, choosing instead to describe its content to their audience. At issue is whether the news value of the image outweighs its potential to offend. Depicting images of the Prophet Muhammad is considered a sacrilegious act by many Muslims. Outlets that chose not to show the cartoon, or cropped or blurred the offensive images, cited cultural sensitivity and standards of decency as reasons.

Many chose to only briefly show the Charlie Hebdo cover, as the BBC did on its Newsnight program, but it kept the image offline. Others, including Britain’s The Guardian and The Independent newspapers, ran the cartoon but included a warning that it could offend some readers.

In France, there was no such hesitation. The Charlie Hebdo cartoons were splashed across the front pages and in primetime across all networks.


From Mediaite: Which Networks are Showing the New Charlie Hebdo cover.

“CNN will not show you the new cover which depicts the Prophet Muhammad because it is policy not to show potentially offensive images of the prophet,” Carol Costello announced Tuesday morning, while MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart said, “NBC News and other networks have made the editorial decision not to show the cover.” CNN maintained the policy was subject to change.

By contrast, Fox News displayed the cover during a reportorial segment on its release: