Controversy over Time Magazine cover showing mutilated Afghan woman

The Atlantic Wire site has published a series of different points of view about this week’s Time Magazine cover, which shows a harrowing image of an 18-year-old Afghan woman who has had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban.

Under the headline “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan”, the magazine’s picture caption reports that the woman was attacked for having tried to flee from “abusive in-laws”.

The Wire asks if Time Magazine is right to publish the cover, with answers first quoted from managing editor Richard Stengel discussing the reasons for their decision.

I thought long and hard about whether to put this image on the cover of Time (…) But bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them. In the end, I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban’s treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan.

The article then moves to comments from a range of other publications, some who say the cover is “good journalism” while others feel it “oversimplifies war”.

See the full post here…

2 thoughts on “Controversy over Time Magazine cover showing mutilated Afghan woman

  1. John Le Fevre

    Okay, it’s graphic. But how else do you do this story justice? What’s with this trend to self censor to the point that news is judged on whether some people might be offended or is politically correct or not?

    Congratulations to Time for taking the right decision (IMHO) and publish. Not to show the world would have been a bigger crime than what the Taliban have done.

    I hope that the deal with Time at least saw something done to help this woman for agreeing to be photographed.

  2. Pongpok

    Point taken. But the Time would not cover photos of little boy effected by the US indiscriminate bombings, would they?

    In a similar note, it would not cover:

    – the bombing by US F-18 and B1 near Granai which kills between 86-147 civilians

    – the killing of 12 unarmed civilians, including two journalists from Reuters, in Eastern part of the country in 2007 (as leaked by Wikileaks)

    The decision whether to withdraw or not withdraw is not up to the invading and occupation forces. It is up to the Afghan peoples.

    So much for bias and uninvestigative journalism…

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