“Should the event happen on Saturday, the AP will not distribute images or audio that specifically show Qurans being burned, and will not provide detailed text descriptions of the burning. With the exception of these specific images and descriptions, we expect to cover the Gainesville event, in all media, placing the actions of this group of about 50 people in a clear and balanced context.
AP policy is not to provide coverage of events that are gratuitously manufactured to provoke and offend.” -Tom Kent in memo sent to AP staff
The AP has announced it will not distribute images of burning Korans in its coverage of the proposed International Burn a Koran Day in Gainesville, Florida. It’s an interesting move. On the one hand, I’m happy a news organization will not give attention to something that seems deliberately designed to get attention. On the other, I’m not happy to see news organizations stifle coverage due to the dictates of a religion. South Park was censored earlier this year due to similar concerns, and it feels like a loss on the battleground of free speech. On the other other hand, the “church” and the pastor behind International Burn a Koran Day are completely creepy and insane.
And while we’re on the subject, take a look at Chip Litherland’s photos of Rev. Terry Jones, the man behind all of this.