Media Ethics & the Kate Middleton Photos

As news surfaced late last week about Closer, the French magazine that published topless photos of Kate Middleton, one can only wonder about the ethics of the editor and for that matter, the photographer as well.

According to Fox News/The Associated Press, attorneys for the royal family are going to make a criminal complaint against the photographer and they’ve already launched a civil suit against Closer.

This begs the question: If you were the editor-in-chief, would you have published them anyway? Would the consequences of a fall-out even occur? Would you consider the “public road” from which the photographer took the photos as a legitimate reason to not only snap the photos but publish them as well?

Moreover, what if you were a bystander? If you were a staffer, another photographer, a  copy editor — if you weren’t directly involved with the publishing but knew it was going to happen, what would you do? In this slow economy perhaps the first inclination would be to remain silent but at what price?

Of course, the photos of the Duchess of Cambridge is under the global spotlight but what if something of less magnitude occurred at the office? Would you speak up? Look the other way? Alert someone else, perhaps your immediate editor to inform him or her of what was going on so you did your part? Just some food for thought.