You may have seen this note to readers we ran in the Feb. 19 print edition of SWoCo. If not, here it is:
We have a conundrum and we’d like your feedback.
Each week, we ask readers to share their photos, and we try our best to run all of them.
This winter, we’ve received some hunting photos. When we’ve run those, well, we’ve also heard from a few readers who strongly object to hunting — and object to us running them.
On the one hand, we don’t want to make anybody unhappy. On the other hand, well, the parents sharing photos of their kids’ hunting trophies are as proud of those kids as others are of kids who have won a sports trophy or some other recognition — and we’re here to help celebrate achievement.
How do you think we should resolve this? With the photo in the Feb. 19 edition, we’ve taken the liberty of cropping it to show the proud hunter — and the antlers — but not the dead deer. You can find the full photo here.
Let us know what you think.
Since then, we’ve received a number of responses, both pro and con, reprinted below. What do you think? You can leave comments below.
“How do you think we should resolve this?” – by quitting the journalism profession (of which you are not a part of – the purpose of journalism is to inform, not to make everyone “happy”). This country would not exist and you would not be here if it were not for hunting. The food to survive for the early settlers came from hunting. Hunting today is managed by the state government to prevent overpopulation and starving animals.And how many is “a few readers”? I object to all the pictures of basketball courts because of all the trees that had to be needlessly sacrificed. Please don’t show any baseball pictures because of all the trees needlessly sacrificed for bats and the animal hides used for gloves. If you’re going to appoint yourself as censor, just put SWoCo back with the real news censor -The Roanoke Times.
Brown D. Burton
Thanks for soliciting responses about this issue. I do not think it is a good idea to publish pictures of people (children, specifically) with the animals they killed, nor promote hunting in any way. If people kill out of necessity (for food or defense) they wouldn’t then need to have their picture taken as a “trophy” and certainly wouldn’t ask that that picture be put in the newspaper.
Would you publish a picture of someone with a cat or dog they just killed?
Killing for sport is just as heart-wrenching as killing for pleasure, and shouldn’t be highlighted in the community.
Thanks, again, for asking for our opinions.
Of course, you need to show hunting photos. Those who don’t want to see them can always turn the page! No doubt they will want you to show pictures of their children as often as possible – doing whatever!
In response to the question posed in the February 19-25 issue of SwoCo regarding the publication of photos of children and their hunting “trophies”;
It is likely that the adult parent(s) of the child in a hunting photo are submitting the photos and not the children themselves. Though the parents may be proud of what their child has accomplished, by submitting a photo with the child’s name and having it published, they are unknowingly (perhaps) exposing their child to possible ridicule and dislike by classmates and acquaintances of the child who may not (or their family may not) hold the killing of animals and the proud display of it in the same positive light as the child-hunter parents do.
So to express an opinion on the matter: for the sake of the child in the photo, do not print them.
Thanks for allowing input via your “Conundrum” request for feedback on page 29 of your SwoCo supplement February 19, 2010.
I vote NO – absolutely NO to pictures of dead animals killed by “sportsmen” with their opposable thumbs and high powered rifles. That young man, Jordan Stovall, sure doesn’t look like he’s starving, he doesn’t need the meat of the animal for basic food, so what’s the purpose of killing an innocent creature, leaving its children without a protective parent.
Does this child’s parents ever think about how their heads would look as a trophy in your magazine, if we could swtich sides with the deer? Would they be proud to deny their son a parent and protector in the name of “fun” and “sport”.
Yes, put photos of true sports, in which all participants are willing and equal, in your publication, but these days dozens of nut cases are pulling out guns & killing innocent people in record numbers. Please don’t glorify killing as “sport” and “fun”. There are dozens of individual and team sports where young people learn to gain physical and mental skills, to cooperate, and to excel as individuals as well as part of a team. Look at the audience for the Olympic Games!!! Let’s celebrate individual or team victory, not a one-sided match ending in death for the one who did NOT elect to participate.
FYI, if all else fails, money talks. Example: I found an ad for a plumbing/heating contractor on the front of your Jan. 19, 2010 issue (TownSide Plumbing), called him for an estimate, and on February 18 gave them a check for $1740+ for repair to my heat pump. I would not have likely found this contractor without his business ad in your paper. But had I seen the “gleeful smile over the dead body” photo which you showed in the Feb. 19 issue, I probably would not have called TownSide, nor in fact supported any of your advertisers. So TownSide would not have received my business, my good-will, or my money. I’m sending Art Henderson of TownSide a copy of this email, just so you know I’m for real, and they know what one of their customers (and this is very much a word of mouth business) thinks of a publication which would glorify the dead deer photos which some want displayed in your paper. Let “proud parents” put the hunting photos in hunting magazines. Lord knows there are enough of them. That’s where they belong. They are welcome to be proud and share photos with their own subculture. There’s no right or wrong. They’re just inappropriate for this publication.
Let these parents of “hunters” get pictures made and frame them in their own homes so that people like themselves can gloat and beam over their children’s killing skills. But DON’T put them in a “community” or family paper. Please.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.