Can Graphic Pictures really enhance the amount of Humanitarian Action?

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti with a magnitude of 7.0 and it ended up killing around 230,000 people and leaving almost 3 million homeless. Once the news broke, American journalists and photographers rushed over there to start documenting everything. But it was not just a normal documentation done by these Americans, they started a controversy with their pictures. While in Haiti, the journalists took pictures of dead bodies laying in the streets, underneath their homes, businesses, and schools. Also, they obtained images of people being shot as they were looting the stores that were easily accessible.

The journalists say they did this so that they could help make it clear how big of a catastrophic event this earthquake was and to help humanitarianism grow and to make people more aware. Also, they think that this helped with the donations and support for the nation of Haiti so that could slowly start getting back to their feet and start rebuilding their lives.

On the other side, some people thought these pictures were too gruesome to show to the public. Some of the people of Haiti took these pictures as an insult to them, especially the nudity of the dead bodies that was shown, and they thought they had already suffered too much and this was just the icing on the cake.

Some journalists say that there is too much timidity going on in news organizations and that it is quite a concern. Because of this, journalists say that no one is showing what really should be shown,but just like the Haiti earthquake pictures, journalists should show more daring pictures. They want stories to register with the readers, which is one main reason why there were so many horrific pictures shown from Haiti so that people understood the vast damage done to the nation, because writing it down on paper just isn’t enough.

Overall, the graphic pictures have helped with the relief effort in Haiti because people can truly understand what is going on over there and can sympathize, but at some point, there should be a boundary because even though they might be dead, people still deserve respect and dignity.

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