What Went Into Cable News Decision to Show Graphic Gaddafi Photos?

By Alex Weprin 

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie writes about the decision-making process that went into showing the graphic photos and videos of deposed (and now deceased) dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The cell phone video was obtained by Qatar-based Al Jazeera on Thursday morning before widespread reports of Gadhafi’s death. And while U.S. news organizations were careful to note that Gadhafi’s death was not confirmed by NATO or the U.S. government, they quickly began airing the video, warning viewers that what they were about to see was disturbing.

A CNN spokesperson said the network’s editorial policy is to use graphic video “sparingly” and in this case “only to make the editorial point that Gadhafi appears dead.”