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New York Post front page photo of James Foley causes widespread anger

The New York Post has provoked outrage in the US by publishing a graphic front page image of American journalist James Foley about to be executed. 

The Post, a News Corp newspaper, edited by Australian journalist Col Allan, published an image of Foley with a knife held flush against his throat, above the headline "SAVAGES". 

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Beheading video followed prior threat

GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni says the Islamic State video, that shows the beheading of journalist James Foley, came after a threat was made to the family last week.

Fairfax Media has declined to reproduce the graphic front page image on this story, but readers can view it here (graphic image warning)


The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, a News Corp Australia publication, also published a graphic image across its front page of the moment just before the execution, with the headline "PURE EVIL".

The executioner is shown with a knife centimetres from Foley's throat as the journalist kneels in the sand.

The Courier Mail in Brisbane ran the same image and headline on its front page, although the image was much smaller.

Some readers condemned the decision to publish such graphic content.

The front pages came after a propaganda video emerged on YouTube showing the gruesome beheading of Foley, 40.

His masked executioner, speaking English with a British accent, said it was in retaliation for US air strikes in Iraq.

Many worldwide media organisations, including this one, ran still shots from the video but only those from well before the murder. 

Once the video was made public, momentum quickly built online to campaign against sharing it - to prevent giving the Islamic State publicity.

The hashtag #ISISmediablackout quickly gained traction on Twitter after the five-minute YouTube video - since taken down - showed Foley on his knees before a black-robed man. 

On Wednesday, Twitter's chief executive announced that it was suspending the accounts of people who continued to share the video.

"We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you," Dick Costolo wrote.

Many users, including the US Muslim Public Affairs Council, argued that sharing such images would help the terrorists deliver their propaganda.

Allan, known in Australia as the man who took Kevin Rudd to a strip club, is no stranger to controversy. 

In 2013, two men launched legal action against the Post for incorrectly identifying them as the Boston bombers on its front page.