Letter from the editor: The full picture

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The sun is shining like it's the Cote d'Azur, Easter is just around the corner, there's a whole rash of Bank Holidays on the way and there's even a Royal Wedding to look forward to. April, to corrupt TS Eliot, is the coolest month.

The problem for us here at i, however, is that the news agenda is somewhat less than sunny, and in the pages of this, and every other newspaper, you will find a very different reality being reflected. The news from abroad is unremittingly grim: military action in Libya, civil war in the Ivory Coast, the continuing tragic consequences of the tsunami in Japan, and the bankruptcy of major European nations. It's not much better at home, either, as the effects of the Coalition's cuts begin to bite (as illustrated by this morning's front page story). Ah well, at least there's the AV referendum to look forward to!

Of course, our mission is portray the world in all its aspects, however grisly they may be. We strain, nevertheless, to provide light as well as shade, but even when you're seeking diversion, tragedy can inflict itself. I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking this during the TV coverage of the Grand National on Saturday.

I'm an ardent horseracing fan who finds the tales of equine and human courage thrown up by this race deeply moving. I know it's a dangerous pursuit, and I know there's the potential for casualties. But, somehow, seeing the stricken forms of two horses as the others passed them by - a sight usually obscured from public view - was both sickening and shocking. It made me re-evaluate my opinion of the race itself, but, more than that, it made me wonder whether we're all guilty of sanitising reality. Out of respect for the victims, and sensitivity to the readers, we stop short of showing the full horror of war and disaster. But perhaps we should. Maybe we're failing in our duty to give the full picture. I'd really welcome your views on this.

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