The New York Daily News sparked outrage on Twitter overnight when it revealed its Thursday cover on Wednesday’s on-air double murder in Virginia. Under the headline “Executed on Live TV,” it features three photos from alleged shooter Vester Lee Flanagan’s point of view, the last showing the horrified look on journalist Alison Parker’s face as he opened fire. Earlier in the day, colleagues of Parker and cameraman Adam Ward asked people to stop sharing videos of the murder on social media. “Our
#WDBJ crew was literally ambushed this morning. Please DO NOT share, or post the video,” wrote chief meteorologist Brent Watts. Andy Parker, the victim’s father, compared the footage to ISIS beheading videos and said, “I am not going to watch it. I can’t watch it.”
An edited version of the Daily News cover appears below. You can see the original here.
Many pointed out that the cover highlights exactly what the killer wanted people to see, and millions will see it on newsstands.
“It’s going to be very tough to walk around the city tomorrow and try to avoid that cover,” Jake Duhaime, a friend of Parker’s boyfriend Chris Hurst, told the Washington Post. “There’s no public good or awareness that comes out of it except for winning the day.”
But the Daily News actually isn’t the only paper that went with a disturbing image for Thursday’s cover. The Independent reports that several U.K. papers feature similar photos, and unsurprisingly the New York Post went with a large shot of the killer pointing a gun at Parker and the headline “TV MURDER.”