Liberal Hero of the Week #74: The Independent front page

by Stephen Tall on September 5, 2014

Liberal Hero of the Week (and occasional Villains) is chosen by Stephen Tall, Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and Research Associate at CentreForum

cf hero - indy front page

The Independent front page

UK newspaper
Reason: for reporting a terrorist murder without sensationalising it

You’re a newspaper editor and a big international story breaks: a US journalist is seemingly murdered by a British member of the terrorist organisation, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), and the gruesome video of the crime released.

You know it’s a front page story. Do you (a) splash a still photo of the murder on your front page for impact even though you know it gives his killers the victory they were looking for, or (b) report it without resorting to advertising the terrorists’ crimes for them?

If you answered (a) you’re qualified to run most of the UK’s national newspapers. Only The Independent (along with the Financial Times) had the courage to go with (b). Zach Green put it best:

Kudos, then, to The Independent and its editor Amol Rajan for showing it’s possible to publish a punchy, newsy front page that gives readers the facts without giving the terrorist what they want.

* The ‘Liberal Heroes of the Week’ (and occasional ‘Liberal Villains’) series showcases those who promote any of the four liberal tenets identified in The Orange Book — economic, personal, political and social liberalism — regardless of party affiliation and from beyond Westminster. If they stick up for liberalism in some way then they’re in contention. If they confound liberalism they may be named Villains. You can view our complete list of heroes and villains here. Nominations are welcome via email or Twitter.