My email (sent September 4):
Hi, I’d like to formally complain about this article you published, regarding a serious assault that took place in South Korea.
The article concerns a man whose wife cut his penis off.
The accompanying image you elected to use – a vegetable being cut up, essentially makes a joke of the assault, trivializing it, and doesn’t demonstrate the sensitivity that is appropriate.
Domestic violence is a serious issue, once that is exacerbated by cultural attitudes that prevent people from seeking help about it. As a media outlet, it is irresponsible to contribute to this attitude, by treating it like a joke.
It is also insensitive to any similar victims of domestic violence seeing their circumstances being treated this way.
Please treat this email as a formal complaint.
Can you please check your policy/guidelines for how you handle cases domestic violence, and tell me if your standards were adhered to in this case.
Thank you for you complaint about the Newshub article at the attached link. The MediaWorks Standards Committee agrees that the stock image used for the article was inappropriate and we apologise for the offense it caused you. Immediately after receiving your email we raised your concerns with the editor of Newshub online. The image was removed and the staff member responsible counseled.
We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and once again apologise for the offense the article caused you.
For the MediaWorks Standards Committee