How far would you go for some shock and awe?

When it comes to photojournalism today it seems to be that the line between informative reporting and exploitation has been blurred. During times of dire need in other countries, such as after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean or more recently the earthquake that devastated Haiti, news media flood those areas and do all they can to get the most powerful images to tell the stories that no words can describe.

When it comes down to it, that is what our news organizations and institutions have been set up to do, gather and report what we could otherwise never know. What would happen if such awful tragedies hit home and it’s the people we know and can directly connect with that are being repeatedly show in the most awful of ways? Would such images ever really make it to air?

After the incident in Haiti, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and even more injured and homeless, it became obvious that the blurred line needed come clearing up. Anyone who turned on the news weeks after the quake couldn’t escape seeing the images of misery and horror in the survivors standing in the wreckage of what they could once call their homes. Were these the necessary images to keep donations and aid flowing in their direction? Did the constant reminders of what had just happened needed to be on repeat for anyone deeply affected to relive day in and day out?

After awhile, what people seem to forget, is that behind each photograph or video are the now broken lives whose only wish is to forget. How could anyone ever think to move past and begin to see the light of a situation, when all that is shown is the darkest of parts?

It seems to me that most of the time news outlets are seeking whatever means to gain the highest of ratings to stay on top, or just to stay afloat. With the unlimited space to which most journalists can now show off their imagery, extreme care needs to be taken for those few images that are to be broadcasted to those around the world. One can only hope that the privacy and dignity of those involved in any future event will be on the minds of those who are to cover the story.



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