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German newspaper Bild runs without photos in protest over Aylan Kurdi picture backlash


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

September 8, 2015 | 4 min read

Germany’s best-selling tabloid has been published without images today following complaints about the newspaper’s decision to publish the image of drowned three year old Aylan Kurdi last week.

The harrowing image, which dominated front pages in the UK and internationally, raised the awareness of the plight of people looking to escape to Europe from Northern Africa, argued Bild and other publications such as the UK's Independent.

But the decision to run with the picture invoked the ire of many uncomfortable with the image. Bild defended its decision in dramatic fashion by simply removing all images from the print and digital offering, illustrating the importance of imagery in journalism.

A statement from the German title read: “We want to show how important photos in journalism. And that it is worth every day to fight [to use the best] photos."

It likened the image of Aylan to Phan Thị Kim Phúc’s Pulitzer prize winning image documenting the horrors of the Vietnam war (shown below).

The statement argued that publishing the images of Aylan “caused dismay and compassion” among readers and “rattled million people awake”.

Below are some stills of the newspaper and website.

The brand also avoided the use of images on Twitter, instead opting to run with grey boxes - a provocative move which caused quite a stir among readers.

Images Bild Media

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