Wednesday, April 30, 2008 profiteering off of the suffering of others

I was appalled by the recent addition on the website that allows a visitor to purchase a t-shirt with an actual news headline printed on it.

What appalled me was the fact that some of these headlines include traumatic events for individuals or communities. Looking just at today's t-shirts, headlines include "Crying 4-year-old found along highway" and "40-lb hunk of metal hits driver in face." Both of these stories carry with them traumatic events involving real individuals, families, or even communities. To attempt to profit directly off of such events is repugnant to say the least, completely insensitive to the those affected by the event, and legally questionable.

Imagine if that was your child who was lost and very nearly killed on the highway. Or perhaps if that was your father, wife, or friend who was hit by that hunk of metal. How would you feel if you knew news agencies were directly profiting off of traumatic events in your life?

I have no problem with news agencies finding new creative avenues to increase profits, but needs to be careful with this one.

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