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Killer’s picture will not be used on front pledges editor

The editor of the Manchester Evening News has pledged that he will never use an image of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi on page one.

Addressing the Society of Editors’ conference in Cambridge, Rob Irvine spoke of the sense of responsibility felt by MEN journalists in the hours after the Manchester Arena attack in June.

“The eyes of the world were upon us. People were coming to us for accurate information.  We had to get it right,” he told delegates.

But he refuted suggestions that in their coverage of this summer’s spate of terrorist incidents, journalists were doing the terrorists’ job for them.

“I’ve not used Salman Abedi’s picture on page one and while I’m editor I never will,” Rob told the conference.

“He certainly doesn’t deserve to be pictured next to the people he murdered.”

However Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said journalists sometimes need to show restraint in their coverage.

“I think there are ways you can rein back what you do and still report the news,” he said.

Evening Standard columnist and former Times editor Simon Jenkins accused some of his colleagues of “over reacting” to terrorist incidents, suggesting that they should not even be described as such.

“Every time I see it being reported I think we are doing the job for them,” he said.