It is a rare newsroom that hasn’t had to learn some version of the awful lesson that KTVU-TV is digesting today about the hazards of grabbing photos from Facebook.
NABJ, The Maynard Institute (which is based in Oakland) and BABJA called out the TV station for using a Facebook photo of 18-year-old Nia Wilson holding what appeared to be a gun. Wilson and her sister, Lahtifa, were attacked aboard a Bay Area Rapid Transit train by a man who slashed them with a knife. BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas underscored the callousness of the murder, saying it was “prison-style attack” and that in 30 years as an officer, this is among “the most vicious” he had seen. The San Francisco Chronicle reported it was the third homicide on the BART line in five days.
The horrific nature of the attack and the innocence of the victims added gravity to anger over KTVU’s decision Monday to use a photo from Wilson’s Facebook page showing her holding what appeared to be a gun near her head. The image appears not to be of a gun at all, but instead of a cell phone case that is made to look like a gun. But that’s not the point of the outrage. (Poynter is not using the image in this story so as not to perpetuate it, but we are linking to the image so journalists can see what the controversy is about.)
Even if the “gun” in the photo had been real, Wilson was a victim, not a criminal. She died calling out her sister’s
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/news-station-aired-photo-stabbing-victim-holding-what-looks-gun-heres-why-thats-problematic