France’s best-selling national newspaper has declared it will no longer publish pictures of terrorists who have carried out atrocities in a bid to avoid “glorifying” their actions.
The change in Le Monde’s editorial policy was announced today in an article by its director, Jerome Fenoglio.
It comes in the wake of the murder of an 86-year-old Catholic priest in Rouen, Normandy at the hands of Islamic extremists yesterday.
Television station BFM-TV, Catholic newspaper La Croix and Europe 1 Radio of also decided not to use photographs or names of terrorists.
Father Jacques Hamel died less than a fortnight after 84 people were killed when a lorry ran down families celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.
Fenoglio said (translation by Press Gazette): “Following the attack in Nice, we will no longer publish photographs of those who carry out massacres to avoid the possibility of glorifying them in death.”
He revealed the paper had “changed its protocols [for reporting on terrorism] on several occasions” since the first Islamic State attacks, including taking the decision not to publish images, extracts from propaganda documents or claims made by the terror group.
He said internal debate over best practice was ongoing, adding: “These reflections, these debates, these adaptations to an enemy who uses our own weapons against us are indispensable if we want to break the strategy of hate, if we want to emerge victorious without abandoning our principles.
“We owe it to all the victims of the criminal group known as Islamic State and since Tuesday, 26 July, we owe it to the memory of Father Jacques Hamel, assassinated in his church.”
Fengolio also warned that without a “conscious effort on the part of companies controlling social networks and mass media” it would be harder to resist the “strategy of hate” from Islamic State.