Adventures in news coverage, part 2: When a kiss is banned

Update: Check out the first comment.

About 10 years ago, we published a photo of two women kissing on the bottom half of the front page. The world didn’t explode, but some of our readers’ heads did.

It was a chaste kiss between two elderly women, but it seemed as if the depiction offended some of our more conservative readership. They called, they complained, they cancelled.

The publisher told me that he, too, was offended and, after we debated the photo’s news value and the role of a newspaper, he told me not to publish that sort of photo on the front page again. While I was editor, we didn’t.

I’m reminded of this because I came across this  blog post-appreciation by my friend Addison Ore about the late inestimable Pearl Berlin. Addison posted this photo by Lynn Hey of the News & Record of Berlin kissing her longtime partner, Lennie Gerber.

Photo by Lynn Hey

Addison wrote: “At one infamous rally on the steps of the Greensboro Government Plaza, Lennie ended her remarks by planting a sweet kiss on Pearl’s lips. It is one of my favorite photos of them – even though the News & Record deemed it “too much” to run in the print edition.”

Scandalous, right?


One thought on “Adventures in news coverage, part 2: When a kiss is banned

  1. John, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your blog post on FB and seeing the picture of “the kiss.” To this day, I remember that when she joined me, as planned, at a certain point in my speech, I looked down at her and just had to give her a kiss. In front of the whole crowd! Crazy. Friday will be the one year anniversary of her death. It is such a loss, but we will reunite in an Eternal Reef. (In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, our ashes will be combined in a concrete block and put in an eternal reef, made by the company of that name.)
    Warm regards, Lennie

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