Press council reprimands voyeuristic Blick reports

The Press Council condemns the publication of police pictures by Blick on the so-called iron trial. The bloody pictures from the night of the crime would have satisfied voyeuristic needs and left the accused unprotected at the mercy of public curiosity.

In the autumn of 2010, the tabloid newspaper had reported on the criminal case in a big way for several days, according to SDA. The accused was accused of beating her husband to death with an iron in the spring of 2003 following an escalating marital dispute.

A reader and later also the woman, who was sentenced by the court to 22 months in prison on a conditional basis for manslaughter, and her four children then complained to the Press Council. The two complaints mainly criticised the publication of police photos from the night of the crime. The publication of the "bloodthirsty photos" violated the human dignity of those depicted and their relatives. The person depicted had also become identifiable to third parties on the basis of the pictures and other information contained in the report. In addition, the Blick reporter had taken a picture of the complainant and her lawyer in the courtroom in contravention of an order by the president of the court and had published the picture.

Blick had replied that the sister of the deceased was legally entitled to release the pictures for publication. Moreover, when it comes to a homicide with an iron, one cannot expect harmless pictures. In its statement published on Wednesday, the Swiss Press Council denied a public interest in the publication of the police images leaked to Blick by a party to the trial. Rather, the publication of these "shock images" serves primarily to satisfy voyeuristic needs.

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