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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 18, 2003

No doubt the letter writer lives in a crime-free, safe, gated community. Graphic Photos Are Reviewed By Trib [Florida] Editors

A graphic photo of an injured man being treated by emergency workers that ran on Page 1 of The Tampa Tribune on Jan. 6 drew some complaints from readers.
The man had been wounded in the suicide bombing Jan. 5 in Tel Aviv, Israel, which killed 23 and injured more than 100.

The photo showed too much blood and pain, the readers said.

Night Deputy Managing Editor Craig Gemoules explained how the choice of that picture was made.

``This photograph epitomizes the dilemma we routinely face in weighing the need to accurately portray the news with the need to respect the sensibilities of our readers,'' he said.

As a matter of course, the Tribune forgoes a good many photos showing violence in the Middle East because of their graphic nature. The Tribune rules out publishing photos of corpses, except in highly unusual circumstances where a team of editors deems such visual coverage to be essential in conveying a news story.

This photo showed a wounded man being rushed to an ambulance after the worst bombing attack in Israel in almost a year.

In the foreground, a medic is shown working on the victim, while in the background there's a blur of emergency lights. A technique used by The Associated Press photographer gave the photo a sense of motion and urgency.

Gemoules agreed that the image was alarming. But it was judged by Tribune editors to be one that appropriately imparted the serious nature of the news without overstepping the photo guidelines the paper strives to meet.