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Rolling Stone magazine pulled from shelves
Photo from Rolling Stone.
Sometimes we need a different opinion to see a different perspective.
That shouldn’t be news, but sometimes we need to be reminded of that.
The next issue of Rolling Stone magazine hasn’t even hit newsstands yet, but it is already being banned from multiple chain stores. One of which, CVS, reaches out to here to California. The controversy is over the cover of the magazine. This month’s cover features Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a very candid picture. Come claim that the magazine’s decision turns him into a “rock star”.
There are multiple things to consider.
One point to note is that Rolling Stone magazine has been praised for it’s coverage of the war, social issues and scandals. Not every writer has had the Hunter S. Thompson approach of writing for the magazine. Shouldn’t we read the article before we decide to ban a magazine? I mean, even the cover give hints that the magazine is going with the stance that he is a “monster”. This isn’t exactly the Janet Jackson photo that graced the cover over twenty years ago.
This is a photo that someone took before he committed crimes. This wasn’t a scheduled photo shoot with makeup artists and hair stylists on hand. This is a photo taken during a time period of Tsarnaev’s life that the magazine aimed to cover. Yes, he was a person that acted just like us regardless of his later actions. The reports surrounding his Twitter account and his friends gave hints of that. This is a kid that acted normal to his friends and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with a journalist trying to explore that side.
Another thing to think about is the demographic of the readership. I fall into it and I can tell you that I don’t need a mug shot of a person to know if someone has done something wrong or not. If you paint a very candid portrayal of someone’s life, it can call for a candid photo.
It is also worth noting that the photo once graced the cover of the New York Times. Sure, the presentation of a newspaper and a magazine are different. I can’t help but wonder if the same would be said if this were on the cover of Time magazine. Or was it the headline? Is it even fair for a store to pull the magazine from their stores?
It would make way more sense if we had access to the article.
This seems to fall into that one thing your teacher told you to never do – judge a book by its cover.