The Assassination in the Name of Aleppo

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On Monday evening, Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was murdered in cold blood at a Turkish Art museum in Anakara. The assassin, an off-duty Turkish police officer, could be seen on pictures and video in the moments before the killing, feet away from the ambassador. After the murder, the killer stood around yelling, “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria.” The attack is being viewed in response to the genocide currently happening to the Syrian people as a result of the Russian bombing campaign to drive out the rebel-head city. Major new publications around the world, chose not to release the name of the assassin (who was later killed in a shootout with police). However, the front page of the New York Times used a full frontal picture of the killer, standing right next to the slain body of the ambassador.

The decision by the Times to run the picture, leads to an issue that plagues publications everywhere: how do you handle releasing information on a killer when a tragic attack occurs. Publications are beginning not to release the name of attackers, so as not to give them the satisfaction of making the news. But they receive that satisfaction, when a full page picture of them makes the front page of the most viewed newspaper in the world, I feel as though that qualifies as making the news. The New York Times took a lot of flack for running the photo of the killer, and rightly so. In a response article posted on their website, associate masthead editor Phil Corbett stated that they decided to use the photo because it would prove more powerful than explaining the details. Corbett also stated that the although very shocking and heart-wrenching, the photo was not gory in bloodshed. Releasing any information, on a murderer is counterproductive to violence problems plaguing our world. I understand the issue of trying to make an impact, but there are other ways to accomplish that. Later in the article, the Times used a picture of people, journalists, huddled in the corner of the room, faces overwhelmed with fear. A picture of this magnitude would do just as much to show the impact and details of attack as a picture of the killer would.

Russia will now have to respond to the slaying of its ambassador. The response will not be an investigation or punishment for the Turkish police department or defense sector. It will be an increase in the already large scale bombing that is led by the Russian force in Syria. In an attempt to gain rememberance and awareness for the forgotten people of Syria, this murderer, did them more harm than he possibly could have ever thought.