To see or not see, that is the question many news editors ask themselves when deciding what to put out to air.

You cannot make the war nicer, you know, you cannot put some kind of censorship and change the image.

Raul Gallego Abellan, Cameraman, Channel 4 news

As 2014 draws to a close the news pictures have, as always, told some disturbing stories.

We have seen civilian casualties in military conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine; pictures of the refugees those conflicts have produced; economic migrants desperate to find new homes and new lives; and the images of those who didn’t make it.

Sometimes, as in the cases in James Foley and Stephen Sotloff - two journalists beheaded by their captors from ISIL - the images are used for the purposes of propaganda.

What news outlets do with those pictures fuels a neverending editorial debate on ethics and graphic imagery.

Some argue that explicit images of violence are dehumanising - exploitative, even voyeuristic. And there's the social media factor - platforms on which just about anything goes - effectively lowering the bar on the limits of the acceptable.

The Listening Post’s Marcela Pizarro explores the conversation around the value of the uncensored image in the act of storytelling, and the debate about the ethics of graphic imagery in the news media.

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Source: Al Jazeera