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December 26, 2015 3:50 pm

Watchdog Alert to Guardian Over ‘Wildly Inappropriate’ Photo of Hezbollah Child-Killer Leads to Replacement


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The photo of Samir Kuntar in the Guardian, which UK Media Watched called 'wildly inappropriate.'Photo: Twitter.

The photo of Samir Kuntar in the Guardian, which UK Media Watched called ‘wildly inappropriate.’Photo: Twitter.

After being called to task by a media watchdog and criticized on social media for publishing a “wildly inappropriate” photo of terrorist Samir Kuntar in a news story on Sunday about the Hezbollah official’s assassination, the UK newspaper the Guardian replaced the picture.

The photo, accompanying a report on the airstrike in which Kuntar was killed in Syria last weekend, shows the arch-terrorist cheerfully hugging two smiling young boys.

Since Kuntar had served 30 years in prison for the cold-blooded slaughter of a father and his four-year-old daughter in northern Israel in 1979, the photo spurred UK Media Watch to call attention to it on Twitter. UK Media Watch managing editor Adam Levick tweeted Guardian picture editor Fiona Shields on Tuesday, asking her to explain the “wildly inappropriate” photo depicting Kuntar as “child-friendly.”

Social media users chimed in, calling the Guardian “evil” and slamming it for portraying Kuntar “sympathetically.” One Twitter user accused the UK publication of being “morally corrupt as usual when it comes to Israel/Jews.”

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One hour after Levick’s post, by which point it had been re-tweeted 50 times, Shields tweeted a reply, saying, “Thank you for pointing out the inappropriate use of this picture. We have changed the illustration with this article now.”

The photo indeed was replaced, and a statement was added at the bottom of the story, explaining to readers that the original image was removed to “better reflect the content of the article.”


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