News organizations tried to decide Friday night whether to broadcast video that was unquestionably newsworthy but horrifically violent — hardly for the first time. In this instance, it was graphic footage of five Memphis police officers fatally beating 29-year-old motorist Tyre Nichols. Hours earlier, it was police body-cam video of a man attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer. On other days, it has been recordings of mass shootings, war and any other number of atrocities that comprise part of the modern news cycle.
Most networks decided to air the Nichols videos shortly after they were released — some before they had reviewed it themselves — and always with copious on-air and verbal warnings for viewers.
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