Public Editor

Don't need to see photo of accused Aurora, Colorado shooter

An email I received late last night sums up an objection I've heard from others about yesterday's front page, which used an image from the first court appearance of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes -- something that almost all newspapers, news websites and TV broadcasts also featured prominently. (I certainly don't need to repost it here.)

"It was disappointing to see the front page of The Kansas City Star Tuesday morning with the giant photo of the person alleged to be responsible for the Aurora tragedy," she wrote. "While I know that many people may want to see the face of that person it would have been more seemly to have lifted the photo of the Teves couple to the top and put the other below the fold. I would even have preferred to have the page six article with the brief stories of those who died on the front page and the perpetrator relegated to page six. If people are so bent on seeing his face they can certainly look for it elsewhere - and most would have seen it already on TV."

I understand her point, obviously, even if I don't agree with it fully. The first court appearance by someone accused of something as heinous as this crime is one of the few concrete developments beyond speculation that we'll see until his trial starts.