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Reporters on the Job

To Publish a Photo or Not: Staff writer Scott Baldauf wrestled with an ethical dilemma that came up over a photo. Today's story is about a woman in Pakistan who faces death by stoning for allegedly being unfaithful to her husband (this page). "So the question is this," says Scott, "Do we withhold the photo to protect the subject from being identified and attacked by her accusers or religious zealots - or to do we run it because the publicity will raise the profile of her case, and make any potential attacker think twice?"

In cases like this, the Monitor weighs the public interest value of publication against the potential of harm to individuals. So, Scott spoke with her about the issue. "She says that the local papers have already carried her picture, so it's no problem if it appears in an American newspaper. Still we may end up highlighting her case in a way that the local paper didn't," he says. "I asked her lawyer about it. He agreed with her decision."

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David Clark Scott
World editor