Several French news groups have taken a stance against terrorism and are refusing to print photos of those responsible for terrorist killings.
The change in editorial policy comes on the back of a feature in the French newspaper, Le Monde, which urged people to resist the strategy of hate and argued that the media had a special role to play in combating terrorism.
The basic idea is that when news organisations report on terrorist atrocities they are furthering the goals of organisations who’d seek to sow fear and chaos across the world, The Guardian reports.
In the Le Monde piece, they wrote:
The sites and newspapers that produce this information cannot excuse themselves from self-examination on several fronts. Since Isis terrorism first appeared, Le Monde has changed its practices several times.
The Paris based paper has made the decision several times not to publish material relating to Daesh including propaganda documents, and after the horrific events in Nice, they opted to not publish photos of the perpetrator to avoid ‘glorification’.
They have also claimed they will review all future photos and reporting on terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile BFM-TV, a French TV station and La Croix, a catholic newspaper, have decided to follow suit and will no longer show pictures of terrorists until further notice.
The radio station Europe 1 has also said it won’t broadcast the names of terrorists or reproduce photographs on its website, and it’s expected that the France 24 television channel will announce it’ll no longer show the pictures during broadcasts.
However, not everyone agrees with censoring the names of attackers.
The executive director of news at the state-run France Télévisions, Michel Field, issued a statement saying:
Our duty is to inform, it’s the right of citizens to be informed. And we must resist this race towards self-censorship and grand declarations of intention.
Field went on to say that not broadcasting the pictures and names of terrorists could potentially panic the public into the fear they are being kept in the dark, before adding censorship is pointless in the days of social media.
After the hideous events in Nice, a psychoanalyst, Fethi Benslama, suggested on French radio:
Perhaps it is time that there was a pact in the media to no longer publish the names and pictures of the perpetrators of these acts, as it’s a really big boost to their efforts to make themselves world famous, even while their victims are anonymous and will remain anonymous.
Only time will tell whether the British media will take a similar route in future.