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Friday, September 18, 2009

Controversial Images- Comments on the AP Photo about the Dying Marine

The AP photo of a wounded marine taken on Sept.4 caused a controversy. Please see some comments here:
We are back to the war photos of Robert Capa.
I think that we should look at all sides- the photographer's decision to take the photograph and the media outlet's decision to publish the photo (what photos did the media outlet choose not to publish before- photos of the coffins being brought back, photos about the Danish Muslim cartoons. Did that particular media outlet represent issues such as abortion, war etc from all perspectives?). One of the criticisms against the photographer, Julie Jacobson is that she was not "patriotic" when she took the photos. Since when does a journalist or photojournalist has to be patriotic to represent the truth?
You can read her view about publishing this photo here:
She said she wanted to portray the reality of the war. I think this should be a photographer or photojournalist's main concern: to show the real world and tell the truth. If Jacobson takes this this approach on all her photos, she is a REAL photographer.
I agree, taking pictures of dying and suffering people has been a controversial issue since Robert Capa’s time. But I would never agree to distort the reality and imply the war does not claim American casualties. After reading the article mentioned above, I also could read about the photographer’s intentions for taking the picture.
I believe, sometimes journalists have to put informing the public before anything else. Let's not forget, her purpose was to remind the tragedies of the war. So that the public does not forget the price Americans paid for freedom. Whether one agrees with the war the public has to know there are consequences. And they have the right to do something against it if they don't like it. For me, the image symbolizes the power of a photographer who dared to speak out and dared to show the other side of the war. A side that other media outlets avoid (see the controversy the images of the coffins has caused).
And by the way, the article does not mention the trauma of the photographers who shoot pictures of dead people, hungry kids, and sick old people?

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