French media stop publishing terrorist images: The argument for and against

Le Monde is one of several French media outlets that will no longer publish photographs of terrorists.

Story highlights

  • Le Monde won't publish images of terrorists to avoid "posthumous glorification"
  • The French newspaper is joined by La Croix and BFMTV, but not France Televisions

(CNN)How should the media report terror attacks? It's a question many in France have been asking after an 86-year-old priest was killed this week -- the latest victim in a slew of terror attacks in the country.

And on Wednesday, French newspaper Le Monde said it will no longer publish photographs and names of terrorists "to avoid possible posthumous glorification effects" -- a move also taken by CNN French affiliate BFMTV and Catholic newspaper La Croix.
Not all French media outlets, however, are following suit. Michel Field of the state-run France Televisions said journalists would continue to judge case-by-case whether it was in the public interest to distribute certain photos and information.
    We speak to two experts on the merits and pitfalls of a media terrorist blackout.

    The argument for

    Charlie Beckett is the founding director of Polis, a think tank for research on international journalism and society at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
    Charlie Beckett
    "I can understand why a French newspaper wouldn't want to put a great big picture of this horrible person who's done such murderous things on its front page,