A Close Call on Publication of Charlie Hebdo Cartoons
Was The Times cowardly and lacking in journalistic solidarity when it decided not to publish the images from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that precipitated the execution of French journalists?
Some readers I’ve heard from certainly think so. Evan Levine of New York City wrote: “I just wanted to register my extreme disappointment at what can only be described as a dereliction of leadership and responsibility by the New York Times in deciding not to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons after today’s massacre.”
Todd Stuart of Key West, Fla., expressed the same view: “I hope the public editor looks into the incredibly cowardly decision of the NYT not to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. I can’t think of anything more important than major papers like the NYT standing up for the most basic principles of freedom.”
And many outside commenters and press critics agreed. Jeff Jarvis of City University of New York wrote: “If you’re the paper of record, if you’re the highest exemplar of American journalism, if you expect others to stand by your journalists when they are threatened, if you respect your audience to make up its own mind, then dammit stand by Charlie Hebdo and inform your public. Run the cartoons.”
很多外围的评论者和媒体批评人士也同意以上看法。纽约城市大学(City University of New York)的杰夫·贾维斯(Jeff Jarvis)写道：如果你是那份权威大报，如果你是美国新闻准则的最高代表，如果你指望你自己的记者遭到威胁时，其他人能站出来支持他们，如果你尊重你的读者自己作出是非判断，那见鬼，你就该力挺《查理周报》，告知你的受众。刊发他们的漫画。”
I talked to the executive editor, Dean Baquet, on Thursday morning about his decision not to show the images of the prophet Muhammad – a position that was taken by The Washington Post (on its news pages), The Associated Press, CNN and many other American news organizations. BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post were among those that did publish the cartoons.
星期四上午，我与本报主编迪安·巴奎(Dean Baquet)谈论了他不刊发先知穆罕默德形象的决定——《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)（其新闻版）、美联社(The Associated Press)、CNN和很多其他的美国新闻机构都采取了此种立场。BuzzFeed和赫芬顿邮报(Huffington Post)（美国两家关注度非常高的新闻时事网站——译注）是刊登了漫画的其中两家媒体。
The Washington Post’s editorial page published a single image of a Charlie Hebdo cover on its printed Op-Ed page with Charles Lane’s column; that decision was made by the editorial page editor, not the executive editor of the paper, who presides over the news content. The executive editor, Martin Baron, told the Post’s media reporter Paul Farhi that the paper doesn’t publish material “that is pointedly, deliberately, or needlessly offensive to members of religious groups.”
《华盛顿邮报》社论版在其纸质评论版配以查尔斯·莱恩(Charles Lane)的专栏文章刊登了一张《查理周报》封面的图片；此决定由评论版主编作出，而非由主持新闻报道内容的报纸执行主编拍板。该报执行主编马丁·巴朗(Martin Baron)告诉邮报媒体记者保罗·法尔希(Paul Farhi)，该报不刊登“针对性地、刻意地、没有必要地侮辱宗教族群成员”的内容。
A number of European newspapers did publish the images, often on their front pages or prominently on their websites.
I found it interesting that at least one outspoken champion of free expression, Glenn Greenwald, questioned the solidarity angle, tweeting: “When did it become true that to defend someone’s free speech rights, one has to publish & even embrace their ideas? That apply in all cases?”
让我觉得很有意思的是，至少有一位敢言的言论自由捍卫者，格伦·格林沃尔德(Glenn Greenwald)（此人是美国记者、律师、专栏作家，曾任职于英国卫报[The Guardian]，报道了斯诺登“棱镜门”事件——编注），对团结视角提出了质疑，发布Twitter发文说：“从什么时候开始，捍卫某人的言论自由权利就必须刊发且甚至支持他们的观点了？这在所有情况下都适用？”
And even many people who were horrified by the attack have become troubled by the embrace of a paper they believe crossed the line into bigotry.
Mr. Baquet told me that he started out the day Wednesday convinced that The Times should publish the images, both because of their newsworthiness and out of a sense of solidarity with the slain journalists and the right of free expression.
He said he had spent “about half of my day” on the question, seeking out the views of senior editors and reaching out to reporters and editors in some of The Times’s international bureaus. They told him they would not feel endangered if The Times reproduced the images, he told me, but he remained concerned about staff safety.
“I sought out a lot of views, and I changed my mind twice,” he said. “It had to be my decision alone.”
Ultimately, he decided against it, he said, because he had to consider foremost the sensibilities of Times readers, especially its Muslim readers. To many of them, he said, depictions of the prophet Muhammad are sacrilegious; those that are meant to mock even more so. “We have a standard that is long held and that serves us well: that there is a line between gratuitous insult and satire. Most of these are gratuitous insult.”
“At what point does news value override our standards?” Mr. Baquet asked. “You would have to show the most incendiary images” from the newspaper; and that was something he deemed unacceptable.
I asked Mr. Baquet about a different approach — something much more moderate, along the lines of what the Post’s Op-Ed page did in print.