Re PPP Vol 6, No 7, on Page 6 Jason Barber comments that "the photographs
of the carnage are sickening. Some may prefer not to see them. But this is reality..."
Very many people would prefer not to see them, sadly not everyone. I believe that
the vast majority of your readers would prefer that such photographs could not exist.
They would prefer that such events did not happen. The fact that it is reality does
not justify printing them. Upon seeing the cover of this issue, I was reminded of
the British tabloids, the morning after the Hillsborough football disaster, which
depicted the victims squashed against the barriers, some dead but all with agony
and fear on their faces. That also was "reality".
These "victims" are all human beings. They deserve our respect and are
entitled to their own dignity. Remember "human rights"? What of their families
and friends also? The unfortunate woman on your front page, bloodied and half-stripped
by the grenades does not need this exposure, she has had exposure to more than enough
as it is. She and the other victims have already been "cannon fodder",
need they be journalists' fodder also?
Perhaps, the Phnom Penh Post thinks that gory photographs will prevent other atrocities
occurring. If that be the case then why not relish in the horrific realities that
are predominant all over the world? No, I don't think so. I think the fact that this
happened on the doorstep of "Barang-land" and involved Khmer people is
a major factor in these photographs being used. Had the victims been foreign I do
not think that photographs would have been used. There have been equally gory things
done to foreigners, both in Cambodia and elsewhere, that will never be given such
The script alone was adequate to communicate the horror of Mar 30th. Please, do not
underestimate your readership. And please, please show respect for the people of
- Michael Clifford, Phnom Penh.