A Swastika, Hate Speech Graffiti & Photojournalism Ethics at Loyola Marymount

Late last week, a Jewish student at Loyola Marymount University discovered a swastika and the words “Jew Die” written with a Sharpie marker on his dorm room door.  The Los Angeles Loyolan, the student newspaper at the Catholic school, reported on the incident the next day.  On Sunday, staff added a photo of the marked-up door to the online story.

Apparently there has been a bit of debate about the appropriateness of featuring an image of such a hateful symbol and phrase.  What do you think?  Would you run the photo?

The most recent similar situation within collegemediatopia occurred last summer at North Carolina State University.  In June 2011, NC State officials temporarily removed the student-produced publication Brick from the bags set to be distributed to incoming students visiting as part of an orientation program.  The reason: the N-word appeared in a small portion of a single photograph in the magazine.  Irony alert: The word had been spray-painted onto the walls of the school’s famed Free Expression Tunnel, which allows students to write (or spray) whatever they want.


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