Better Standards

RECEIVED Fri., July 22, 2016

Dear Editor,
    The cover photo on the July 15, 2016 edition of the Chronicle is a close-up, full-page photo of the face of an African-American woman weeping during a vigil held recently in the aftermath of the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The photo is especially moving because it captures an intimate, albeit public, expression of grief, one that speaks powerfully to the courage of the woman who ostensibly was willing to showcase her vulnerability.
    Yet the front page photo's caption indicates she is "an unidentified mourner." What does that mean? Was the photo published without this woman's consent? Did the photographer take the photo and never bother to get a name? As a neighbor, community member, and fellow human, these questions matter. As it now stands, it too easily appears as if the Chronicle undermined the photo's effect by resorting to the kind of exploitation it aimed to condemn. I hope I'm wrong, and that there is a better explanation. Either way, let's honor the dignity of all of our fellow humans by respectfully reporting, with consent, and better transparency. No suffering should be devoid of identity.
Charity Cortez
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