Over the weekend, a young 15 year old girl was shot dead in East London. Her name is Shereka Marsh and I don’t know her or her family, but it’s such a shame when a young life is taken in a brutal way.
So imagine how surprised I was when my eyes locked onto a distasteful picture of the deceased girl splashed on the front page of a certain newspaper (I refuse to name it but expected better from them). Considering she was a teenager and teens take endless selfies and photos of their every move, are this publication telling me and the rest of the general public that the only ‘decent’ photo they could find was of her pouting while wearing a necklace emblazoned with a crude statement? We have been told that the young girl was a straight-A model pupil who was also a prefect at her secondary school. Good natured. Popular. Showed the Jamaican High Commissioner round her school only recently. And yet, with your sources and social media being so widely available, that was the best you could do? Really??
It’s not a flattering photo of her at all due to its content and because of what happened to her, but that’s precisely why it should never have been used. We all have photographs of ourselves that we regret taking afterwards but the picture in question is inflammatory because people judge and trust me, when commuters saw it on the train this morning, some looked at her in a very negative light even though she was the victim.
Whatever happened to using a simple picture of a girl smiling in her school uniform? Or one of her larking around with her mates? Were they not dramatic enough or not suggestive enough to paint a particular picture? I was taken aback to see such crass journalism (because that’s what it is)- who knows if they’ll print an apology to her grieving family? I doubt it.