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The Globe and Mail

Public Editor explains what's appropriate – and not – for photos in The Globe and Mail

Sylvia Stead responds to readers on a nude photo, a semi-nude photo and a premier's legs

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One reader criticized The Globe for using on its front page this nude self-portrait by Alex Colville, the exceptional Canadian realist painter who died in July, 2013. Public editor Sylvia Stead thinks it was a fascinating portrait of an aging body and a good representation of his work as both an artist and a realist.


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Geraldo Rivera tweeted this photo of himself on July 20, 2013, wearing only a towel with the words "70 is the new 50." A Talking Points column with the headline “Keep it in the vault” said the world responded with “ridicule and shock.” But one Globe reader responded: “There’s much that Rivera might be shamed for – but for showing us a 70-year-old torso? Maybe it's our shaming of the elderly that needs to be kept in the vault.”


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Premier Christy Clark, the first female elected premier of British Columbia, introduces her new executive council in Vancouver on June 7, 2013. One reader criticized The Globe for running the photo in its Focus section on July 13, and wondered if such a photo had ever been published of any other premier. Public editor Sylvia Stead responded: “I told the reader that I thought the contrast of a woman's legs – a woman in power, as a leader – facing so many men in the audience was interesting and evocative. To my mind, at least, the image of a woman's legs is not sexualizing her, but instead drawing the point that she is a female premier.”


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