Reporting disturbing news is duty of The Daily Cougar

At The Daily Cougar, it is our job as editors, writers and photographers to keep the student body informed of campus events. The Daily Cougar has received many phone calls, e-mails and comments on the Web site regarding the decision to run a photograph of a crime scene with the story ‘Man shot to death on campus’ (News, Monday).

The Daily Cougar realizes the photograph of a man lying dead on the campus is disturbing, but it’s the truth. A tragic event occurred at UH, and students have a right to know about it.

In choosing to run the photograph, The Daily Cougar tried to represent the scene as it was. Any student driving down the street or walking to a class in Hofheinz Pavilion would have seen the body, as many did. The student who called 911 probably did not wish to see it either, but that doesn’t change the fact that this incident happened on the campus of a public state university.’

Without the image, the impact of this event would not have been as profound. Without the image, the dead man would just be another statistic.

Some have said publishing the photograph was disrespectful to the deceased; however, it is our opinion that it would be disrespectful to remain silent. It would be disrespectful to ignore the violent and unmerited death of someone who can no longer speak for himself. The photograph speaks volumes about what needs to be to done to ensure campus safety. It illustrates the cold harsh reality that a man was shot in daylight.

The Daily Cougar did not make the decision to run the photograph lightly. Because the man remains unidentified, notifying the next of kin is impossible, although we are not legally obligated to do so. The photograph was not close-up and did not provide any identifiable characteristics. As more details become known about the identity and life of the man, The Daily Cougar will keep you informed.

Making students aware of campus events remains our priority and to sweep this incident under the proverbial rug would be the ultimate dishonor to the deceased.

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