To publish injury images or not to publish?

Seamus Coleman, injury, sport, Kirsty McFarlane, Kettle Mag
Written by kmc17x

Graphic images of broken legs aren’t to everyone’s taste, so is it fair to have such images possibly blown up on the back page of a newspaper? Knowing people of all ages can see it, would it put people off purchasing the paper?

Horrific image

Given the horrendous double leg break Seamus Coleman suffered a back in March during a World Cup qualifying showdown match between the Republic of Ireland and Wales, it was no surprise the horror moment would be littered all over social media. Every time I refreshed my Twitter timeline, the video and frozen image was constantly there.

However, it was also shown on the back page, and within the back pages of newspapers. The back page of a newspaper in particular can be easily seen by anyone from young children to people of older ages who may be disturbed by graphic images such as a double leg break, and although I agree it is important to show individuals these images and emphasise that there are always dangers in sport, is it really necessary to put graphic images like this directly on the back page?

Same stories, different papers

Looking at stories of other individuals who have suffered similar injuries during sport, and those that have had their stories published by different newspapers, it​ shows the poor judgement on their part I think. The Mirror published a story about Luke Shaw's leg break back in 2015, however, it showed no pictures of the broken leg at all. Instead it published action shots of Shaw from the game he was playing in when he suffered the injury.

The Independent is another example of a newspaper that a leg break; it reported on Aaron Ramsey's leg break in 2010, and similarly it used an old photo of Ramsey playing football. Neither one of these papers used a blown up image of the leg injuries throughout any part of the sports section, so why do others print graphic images? Is one view of this right and the other wrong?

Opinions of the public

In a Twitter poll created to get the public’s view on Coleman's horrific image being shown, it showed that 55% of the public who voted in the poll believed it was poor judgement to show the horrific image. Out of the 33 people who voted in the poll, 39% of them believed it was important to show the public these images, and only 6% having a different opinion.

In regards to the 39% who said it was important to show these images to the public, many believe spreading graphic images across back pages is poor judgement. They state that the graphic image would have been better placed within the sports section and not plastered big and unavoidable across the back page.