Saturday, 29 September 2007

Globe got it right

It could be the spot news photo of 2007, reminiscent of the iconic 1989 photo of a lone man standing in front of a tank to protest the bloodbath in Tienanmen Square.

Kenji Nagai, 50, a Japanese freelance APF News Inc. video journalist, has been shot by a soldier while taping a violent pro-democracy protest crackdown in Burma.

A Reuters photo shows Nagai on his back, his video camera gripped in his raised right hand, plus club-swinging and rifle-toting soldiers and dozens of terrified protesters scrambling for safety.

Nagai, a dedicated newsman to his death, continued to tape the violence while dying. His video footage is missing and the outrage over the junta's deadly crackdown on Burmese monks and their supporters is being heard around the world.

Put yourself in the shoes of editors at Toronto's morning Globe, Star, Sun and Post. It is Thursday night and you have that dramatic, full-colour photo.

How would you play it in the Friday newspaper?

Well, in our opinion, the Globe and Mail was the only Toronto newspaper to get it right - front page, over six columns, in full colour.

The Star ran the same photo, lightly cropped, but inside on the front page of its World & Comment section. Their front page photo? A wedding photo from a New Zealand realty show!

The Post play was rather strange. It cut the photo in two, with the front page portion showing only protesters fleeing a club-swinging soldier. The rest of the photo, showing Nagai, was on an inside page.

The Toronto Sun's front page photo left us incredulous - golfer Tiger Woods. The full photo from Burma was on Page 12.

Kudos to the Globe, a newspaper that is consistently on top of its "news" game.

Meanwhile, the person who snapped the dramatic photo, published in newspapers around the world, has not been identified. The photo is being distributed by Reuters on his or her behalf.

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