Trivializing the reality of violent crimes

JEERS TO The Philippine Star for publishing on its front page the scantily clad photo of a transgender woman to accompany a story on her killing.

On October 15, a photo of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude in a bikini appeared on the Star’s front page. The photo, however, had nothing to do with the report, which was on the government’s seeking custody of the United States Marine tagged in Laude’s killing, his identification, the filing of murder charges against the suspect, and the call for justice by various groups and sectors.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. asked the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR) via the social media platform Twitter:



CMFR’s response: The publication of such photographs diverts people’s attention from the fact that a crime had been committed, to the titillation of the mass audience. The same thing often happens in the reporting of rape, which is an act of violence. By providing the salacious details of the crime as well as provocative photographs similar to what the Star published, the focus shifts to the “victim,” which tends to imply that “she was asking for it.”