In response to the question and article, “Is This Photo Ethical?” by Eric Kim, my answer is “it depends.” On the one hand, the photo of the dead girl illustrates the seriousness of a societal problem in a particular part of the world. It sheds light upon and informs many who would otherwise have known nothing about it.
On the other hand, it graphically shows the body of a dead 15-year-old girl. By U.S. journalistic standards, this is unacceptable. We typically don’t give such graphic details about minors in this country, much less provide readers and viewers with names of minors involved in disturbing or socially taboo situations. The photograph and its accompanying caption and story did both.
Therefore, whether the photo is ethical depends on where it is published. As it stands on Eric Kim’s Website and some other acceptable places, I consider it to be ethical. But if it was published in the Florida Times-Union or the New York Times – certainly not.