How far should it go?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by kcjo13, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 18, 2014

    This is a spin-off of my thread about Pilger, Nebraska.

    The story:

    When the tornadoes hit Pilger, many storm chasers were in the area (you can see their videos on YouTube). One such chaser arrive in the town immediately after the storm moved on. He had a camera, and captured a pic of first responders carrying a little girl, who later died.

    WARNING: the pic is graphic. This article does not include the pic, but you can click another link in the article and see the pic. I do not recommend doing so if you upset easily-it is heartbreaking. But you can read this article for more information.

    http://www.coloradoan.com/story/new...s-native-captures-photo-girls-death/10800753/

    The question-how far should photojournalists and reporters go? This guy's defense is that photogs have been doing this forever. The most famous is probably the pic of the OK City fireman carrying the injured toddler.

    What is responsible reporting? What is crossing the line?
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 18, 2014

    Oh, and three weeks ago be posted on his FB page that he needed a big storm so it could "make it rain financially" for him.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2014

    While the statement was crass, it's the truth. As for the photos themselves? This is how we document history. This is not the first, nor will it be the last heart-wrenching photograph. A few photos spring to mind immediately...

    -Napalm girl
    -Falling Man
    -Any one of hundreds of photos of the concentration camps during and in the immediate aftermath of WWII.
    -The one of the little kid in the middle east covered in his parents blood after check point agents opened fire on their car for failing to stop

    If I were to spend any time googling war photos or disaster photos, I'm quite certain I could come up with dozens, if not hundreds more. It's the nature of the job.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jun 18, 2014

    I see two sides here.

    First, the guy is a $@#%. (Pick your word- it will fit) The comments he made regarding money are disturbing. I kind of hope he gets collected the next time he chases a storm.

    On the other hand, I don't have a problem with images such as these being shared. Plus, the girl was alive when it was taken. I think the image shares a positive light on EMTs and it is very touching in that regard. If I ever endure a disaster, I want people who truly care to be my caregiver. You can tell that these EMTs do care. In that aspect, I love the emotion of the image. I also think people need to see and understand what is happening in the world. Sometimes hearing/reading isn't enough. The phrase 'a picture is worth a 1000 words' has value (most of the time, anyway). Lastly, I think it could help some people take tornadic storms more seriously. I know my area does not get the number of tornadoes as the plains states, nor are they typically as severe, but the last time there was a tornado in my area, people were going outside to see it. They think they are invincible! There were multiple tornadoes that touched down in my state today, so it is not totally uncommon here.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2014

    Yeah, I know....it's a touchy subject. The OK City photo is so hard to look at, yet it's so moving...

    I think it is the timing of the photo that is bothering me. It was immediately, and I mean immediately, after the storm. I just don't see how "take a picture" is the first response for any human. Plus, he had sold the photo shortly thereafter. So while people were suffering and dying, he was making a business transaction.

    Perhaps even the next day would have been more tasteful.

    Typical news media-I have such a love/hate. I just cannot stand the rush to be "first" with everything. News is now "First at Four". You saw it here FIRST. Your FIRST look at this tragedy, or that tragedy.

    The day after the storms, one of Nebraska's news stations posted a story that was so riddled with errors, obvious cutting and pasting, and just blatant WRONG information, with the headline "EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT THE WRECKAGE IN PILGER".

    The rush to be "first" means we abandon all other standards of news writing? It was literally worded like this:

    These were back to back paragraphs. It was awful. It just pisses me off.
     
  7. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 19, 2014

    KC... That is weird.
    I looked at the pic...just wish I could reach through and save her!!! UGH!!! How awful....I don't know whole story but she must have been through a lot to be that covered!!!

    And Yes the photographer could've used more class & dignity about capturing sensitive subjects.... I know we you read about photographers usually say it was a luck shot or just shooting & didn't know it'd strike such a chord.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2014

    His comments were definitely crass, but I do think having some of these photos is an important part of history. The 9/11 pics of people falling come to mind. My students see some graphic pics during our Holocaust unit. While we read Night and many are touched by it, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. The pictures touch you in a way that words sometimes cannot.

    My AP kids do a whole essay that is limited to 300 words. The rest of the argument must be done through pictures. I've seen some amazing projects done this way, and I vastly prefer it to their long argumentative paper they also do.

    The media does jump the gun sometimes trying to be first. Also, the demise of the copy editor is extremely unfortunate. The quality has definitely gone down in most of our local papers as more and more copy editors are laid off.
     
  9. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Jun 19, 2014

    I swear the rush to be first has left the state of journalism in the toilet. It's like that Texas trucker who's was accused of murder by a psychic and it blew up into a "he had 30 bodies buried and was involved in satanic rituals" by the news media.

    As for this picture (which I have not seen because I still remember reading the newspaper in history class in high school and seeing the Baylee Almon picture and it has stuck with me since then)-I understand the need for this kind of stuff but I think the thing most people are upset about is the earlier facebook post about needing some kind of big tragic event so that he could sell some pictures and that makes him a horrible human being.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2014

    I think if they are going to release pictures like this it should be like this one, where you have a choice to click and look. Recently we had a young man get hit by a train. The local news posted a picture on Facebook of his body. His face was hidden by a police officer who was standing there. His name wasn't released because his family hadn't been notified yet. They also posted a picture of a crushed car a while back with a heading of local teen killed. His name wasn't released yet either, pending family notification. Both of these bothered me, because no one should find out about the death of a family member that way.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    The flip side to this too is freedom of the press. I'm not sure how much we want to give on that. I do appreciate it when they give you the option of clicking to view like Christy said. We had a student die a few years back from texting and driving. His parents now do assemblies at schools about it and they do use the crash photos. I can't imagine their grief.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2014

    A few weeks back there was a car accident in a town not far from me. There were so many people that stopped, not to help (as the car had burst into flames) but instead to start videoing what was happening.

    I understand the need to photo-document the events that are happening; however, timing is everything and this guy should have waited.

    dgp~there is a beer store owner here whose son died while drinking and driving. He has the crushed truck sitting outside his store with a sign that says "Please don't drink and drive".
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2014

    STG, that is so sad. I can't imagine seeing that as a daily reminder, but if it saves even one life, I'd think it'd be worth it.

    If that sort of thing happened to my child, I hope I could turn it into something positive. My mom's friend started a non-profit after his daughter was killed when her friend was drunk driving. He was underage and lived in an abusive home. The father started an organization for teens to "escape" from their rough home lives.
     
  14. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2014

    I think it crossed the line. From what he says, he knew the little girl wasn't going to make it but chose to take a pic of it anyway. It's a dying child. Period. It's hard for me not to believe he didn't have financial gain in mind. There were plenty of other ways to document the wreckage and heartbreak that followed the tragedy. If I were a member of this little girl's family, I'd be livid.

    Beth
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    This is so hard, because I agree with everyone! Also, some details I didn't mention:

    He sold the pic to the AP, which was picked up by the Omaha World-Herald, but prior to that he posted it on his own FB page, AND on a FB page called Nebraska Through the Lens. A public site followed by thousands, so the pic automatically popped up in thousands of news feeds. Pair that with the "make it rain financially" and you see where I'm coming from...I'm all for freedom of press, and information becoming public, but the way this happened just sucks.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2014

    kc~I agree with you. I get the freedom of the press, but some people like this guy, can be jerks about their freedom.
     

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