Most U.S. newspapers opt against publishing bloody images of Gadhafi dead; world’s newspapers had no qualms

Dylan Stableford

If you were wondering how the news media would've handled images of Osama bin Laden's corpse--had the White House decided to release them--the killing of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi provided a clue.

While cable news outlets showed a graphic video--obtained by Al Jazeera English--that appeared to show a dead Gadhafi on Thursday, most American newspapers chose not to publish the images on their front pages on Friday.

Of 424 U.S. newspaper front pages uploaded to Newseum.org, Poynter pointed out that just seven published images of Gadhafi's bloody corpse on their covers. The list includes New York's two major tabloids:

• The Dispatch, Casa Grande, Arizona
• Express, Washington, D.C.
• Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut
• El Nuevo Herald, Miami
• New York Post
• Daily News, New York
• St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Daily News published the largest, most graphic image of Gadhafi; the Post latched onto the fact that the Libyan rebel who is taking credit for killing Gadhafi was wearing a New York Yankees hat, running the headline "KHADAFY KILLED BY A YANKEES FAN." (The Post subhead took a swipe at Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez: "Gunman had more hits than A-Rod.")

Most newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post, opted instead to show jubilant Libyan rebels celebrating Gadhafi's death in the streets, or historical images of the fallen dictator.

The rest of the world, however, had no qualms. Dozens of international newspapers--including London's Guardian and nearly all of Spain's dailies--went with a photo of Gadhafi's corpse on their covers. The images and a partial list are below:

A partial list of international newspapers:

• Clarin, Buenos Aires, Argentina
• MisionesOnline, Posadas, Argentina
• Der Standard, Vienna, Austria
• De Morgen, Brussels, Belgium
• De Standaard, Brussels, Belgium
• Het Nieuwsblad, Brussels, Belgium
• O Liberal, Belém, Brazil
• O Tempo, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
• Jornal da Tarde, São Paulo, Brazil
• O Estado de S. Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
• Le Soleil, Québec, Canada
• Libération, Paris, France
• BILD, Berlin, Germany
• Stars and Stripes (European Edition), Kaiserslautern, Germany
• Stars and Stripes (MidEast Edition), Kabul, Afghanistan
• Anandabazar Patrika, Calcutta, India
• Aajkaal, Kolkata, India
• The Telegraph, Calcutta, India
• Irish Examiner, Cork, Ireland
• Bresciaoggi, Brescia, Italy
• L'Arena, Verona, Italy
• Il Giornale di Vicenza, Vicenza, Italy
• Arab Times, Shuwaikh, Kuwait
• An-Nahar, Beirut, Lebanon
• L'Orient-Le Jour, Beirut, Lebanon
• The Times, Valletta, Malta
• Star, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• Nanyang Siang Pau, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
• Trouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
• AD, Rotterdam, Netherlands
• The Namibian, Windhoek, Namibia
• Hoy, Managua, Nicaragua
• Al-sharq, Doha, Qatar
• Jornal de Notícias, Porto, Portugal
• Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
• Al Watan, Abha, Saudi Arabia
• Al-Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• The Mercury, Durban, South Africa
• The Dong-a Ilbo, Seoul, South Korea
• JoongAng Ilbo, Seoul, South Korea
• The Korea Times, Seoul, South Korea
• La Vanguardia, Barcelona, Spain
• Granada Hoy, Granada, Spain
• Segre, Lleida, Spain
• Diario De Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain
• El Pais, Madrid, Spain
• Málaga Hoy, Málaga, Spain
• EL DÍA, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
• El Correo Gallego, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
• Kvällsposten, Malmö, Sweden
• The Straits Times, Singapore, The Republic of Singapore
• Haberturk, Istanbul, Turkey
• The Guardian, London
• The National, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
• The Daily Al Bayan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• Gulf News, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• El Pais, Montevideo, Uruguay
• El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

Meanwhile, Tony Birtley, the 56-year-old Al Jazeera English journalist who obtained the first footage of Gadhafi's death, explained in an email how he got it:

We've been going back and forth to Sirte for the last thirteen days. We got to know various people who took us into their confidence. The uprisings have been filmed on people's mobile phones. When we got to Sirte yesterday we started asking around and someone said he could get us the pictures. He came back with someone else and we downloaded it onto our computer.

Later, Birtley tweeted: "Every time we pointed a camera we were mobbed by jubilant fighters. Never been kissed and hugged by so many men."

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