The Front Page: Trauma is not a commodity

Issue 54: The Eddie Adams Workshop is selling prints of an execution.

It’s Friday, October 21st.

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The Eddie Adams Workshop is fundraising by selling prints of the “Saigon Execution”, a Pulitzer Prize-winning image taken by the titular photographer.

The photo depicts the graphic moment Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan shot and killed Nguyen Van Lem, a Viet Cong officer and prisoner, during the Vietnam War in February 1968.

Content warning: Images of a shooting in the Twitter and Instagram links. 

On Twitter and Instagram, people have called out the organization’s decision to profit from a photo of an execution and challenged supporters to consider the positionality of the workshop.

“I’m curious how it would change if it wasn’t a largely Western audience debating over a non-western image,” asked photojournalist Nic Coury. “Consider if it was the falling man photo from 9/11, or a photo of bodies or blood from a school shooting.” 

The workshop trains 100 photojournalists each year during its four-day seminar in upstate New York; fundraisers, like the print sales, make the program free.

According to the workshop’s code of conduct, the organization “strives to create a safe environment for all in attendance” and “treat each other with dignity.” 

Adams himself once shared how much capturing the photo troubled him: “I was getting money for showing one man killing another. Two lives were destroyed, and I was getting paid for it.”

Thus far, the workshop hasn’t addressed the critique. The prints are still on sale for $1500.

— Holly Rosewood 


A Bit More Media

Q&A: Mindy Fullilove — Founded this year, the People’s CDC is working to fill gaps left by government officials and reduce harm. We spoke with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a member of the People’s CDC, about the organization, collective consciousness in pandemics, and what the media could do to improve public understanding of COVID-19.

The Reckoning in Food Media? — The Objective is seeking reporting, essays, and criticism on the “reckoning in food media” — what the future of food media could look like and what we can learn from its past. Pitches are due by Tuesday, Nov. 1. Learn more about the upcoming series here.

How the Times covers Black writers — An investigation by Public Books reveals that the New York Times significantly underrepresents Black writers, and Black women particularly, in its articles. Public Books found discrepancies dating back over fifty years, and predict that the trend will continue for at least the next decade. 

The importance of accommodations — An NBC interview with Pennsylvania Senate nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman shows that there are better ways to cover disability and public office, explains David Perry. “We need to make it easier rather than harder to talk about our needs in the workplace, and that change could start in a high-profile context — like a bitterly contested Senate race.”

Support for Florida journalists — The Society for Professional Journalism Florida Chapter is expanding its Hand Up Fund for journalists in South Carolina and Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Ian. Started in 2020, the fund offers up to $200 to journalists who apply by submitting a short statement. 

Pay inequities at Gannett — A pay study released by the NewsGuild has found significant racial and gender pay gaps at several Atlantic-region Gannett properties. The six unions that conducted the study are also bargaining for new contracts, just as Gannett announced a slew of cost cutting measures, including mandatory furloughs.


Stay Up To Date

7 days until … “Breaking Out of Your Niche,” the Newmark Association of Black Journalist’s second annual Black Media Summit. Registration for the two-day event is open until Monday, Oct. 24.

9 days until … “Gender Justice in Jewish Media,” the 2022 Jewish Student Media Conference. ($$$) The virtual convening will take place on Zoom and is hosted by Jewish Student Press Service’s New Voices Magazine.

17 days until … Supporting Freelancer Safety in the Digital Realm. This free event organized by the Dart Center Asia Pacific takes place at 4 p.m. Australian EDT.

What else should we feature? You tell us. Send an email to

A Few More Resources

Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)   

How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook |  SPJ Race & Gender Hotline | AMEJA Media Resource Guide | The Press in Prison

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This issue is by Holly Rosewood with editing by Curtis Yee.

Our stories are funded by readers like you. 

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