The Current

Media split on publishing Charlie Hebdo Prophet Muhammad cartoons

Should Canadian media outlets publish Charlie Hebdo's cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad? Our media panel debates this today.
Stephane Charbonnier also known as Charb , the publishing director of the satyric weekly Charlie Hebdo. was killed in Wednesday's shooting. A Charlie Hebdo editorial cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad has been published by some media outlets in a show of solidarity. Courageous or offensive? (AP/Michel Euler)
We get the latest from freelance reporter Melissa Chemam on the hostage crisis in Paris. 

Plus, in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack on Wednesday, journalists are divided on how to respond to the story visually. Should the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad be re-published in solidarity? 

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Quebec's major French-language newspapers have jointly published a Charlie Hebdo editorial cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad, in a show of solidarity with with the satirical Paris newspaper where 12 people were killed on Wednesday. Here is the list. (CBC)

There will be more cartoons. And we all decided, the journalists who did survive and the ex-colleagues of Charlie Hebdo we all decide together to publish together the new, the next Charlie Hebdo because there is no way even if they kill ten of us, there is no way that the newspaper won't be out next week.Caroline Fourest, a former employee of the satirical French paper Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo will be back. Past and present employees will band together to get the paper out again. They'll be going to print in the wake a galling terror attack that killed twelve at its Paris office this week.

And as other media organizations get to work with their own coverage of the attack, they face their own dilemma: to re-print, or not to re-print, those incendiary Prophet Muhammad cartoons that Charlie Hebdo blared.

In Canada, some papers, such as the National Post and the Journal de Montreal, have opted to publish the images. Other organizations, including CBC, have not. But the decision has certainly come after much editorial deliberation.

As part of occasional series, Eye on the Media, we were joined by:


  • David Studer is director of Journalistic Standards and Practices at CBC News.

  • Andrew Coyne is a political columnist and the Editorial and Comments editor at the National Post.

  • Denise Bombardier is a columnist with the Journal de Montreal.


Do you think the CBC was right in limiting the publication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons? Or did it set a bad precedent? What side of this debate do you fall on?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Catherine Kalbfleisch, Lara O'Brien and Julian Uzielli.

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