Rolling Stone's cover controversy


Is the controversial Rolling Stone cover featuring bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev exploitative or brilliant? University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Jamieson and Slate magazine writer Mark Stern debate.

Jamieson says it "glamorizes" an accused criminal. Stern says the cover subverts our expectations of what a criminal looks like, and that's a good thing.

The full Rolling Stone article is available online, and both Jamieson and Stern agree it's worth a read. Following the backlash, the magazine's editors posted the following note before the feature article:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.

What do you think of the cover? Do you find it problematic, or does it effectively give you pause? Please post your comments below, email us at, or tweet us at @cbcradioq.


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