Who Did—and Didn’t—Publish the Charlie Hebdo Cover Image
The only thing that makes more of a statement than the new cover of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is who chose to republish it and who shied away.
Major media outlets like CNN and ABC chose not to show the controversial cover, in part because of the potential retaliation danger to their correspondents in the field. BBC did run the pictures in one online story with the justification: “We have made the editorial judgment that the images are central to reporting the story.”
The Associated Press stuck with its original decision not to distribute images of the cover, issuing the following statement: “AP tries hard not to be a conveyor belt for images and actions aimed at mocking or provoking people on the basis of religion, race, or sexual orientation. We did not run the Danish cartoons mocking Muhammad in 2005, or the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the same type.”
Some publications chose to reprint the entire French edition as a supplement.
Italy’s Il Fatto Quotidiana distributed the entire publication of Charlie Hebdo as a supplement to its regular daily paper with small Italian translations below the cartoons. Proceeds from sales go to the victims’ families.
Turkey’s Cumjuriyet daily ran cartoons from the inside of Charlie Hebdo as a supplement, but did not print pictures of the cover depicting the prophet Muhammad. Istanbul police raided the paper’s offices early Wednesday and prevented the issues from being distributed until it became clear that the cover image wasn’t included, according to its editor.
In Germany, Deutche Welle ran the Charlie Hebdo cover on its own cover and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Allgemeine Zeitung displayed it on their websites. Suddeutsche Zeitung ran the cover and several excerpts in their print editions.
Other publications ran photos of the cover and excerpts of the cartoons inside.
The Independent, The Guardian, and The Times of London all ran photos of the cover, as did The Washington Post, while USA Today and the Los Angeles Times ran the images on their websites. The Guardian ran a disclaimer: “This article contains the image of the magazine cover, which some may find offensive.” The Daily Telegraph and The New York Times chose not to run photos of the controversial cover.
According to roundup press reports, newspapers in Africa refrained from running the cover image while almost all publications in Latin America ran the cover.
Many Asian publications, including Yomiuri in Tokyo ran the top headline of Charlie Hebdo without using the entire cover image. Others, including the Chinese People Daily, refrained from printing it, but instead depicted it on their websites.
America’s Newseum ran pictures of 930 of the world’s top newspapers and their treatment of the story, quoting Charlie Hebdo attorney Richard Malka: “We will not give in. The spirit of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ means the right to blaspheme.”