Photo Coverage becoming too Insensitive?

One of the most tragic natural disasters that occured in January 12, 2010 was the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in the country of Haiti. American photojournalists with digital cameras captured hundreds of thousands of  poorly bandaged victims. Some of the photographs also captured nude or partially nude bodies falling out of pushcarts and bloated dead bodies being parked in morgue parking lots. From collapsed grocery stores to screaming people, American news photographers believed  publishing those photos were an essential aspect of covering the news. According to the article “Too Graphic?” by Arielle Emmett, ” we try to strike a balance, delivering not only what readers want to see but also what they need to see. We must act with sensitivity but, more importantly, our mission is to create a complete and actual visual report”.
There is, however, controversy about how far the pictures go to the point where it is disrespectful to the dead. In Emmett’s article she explains about a surviving Haitian elementary school teacher ,Payen-Jean Baptise, about how the photographs are only a reminder of a nightmare that the people of Haiti lived through and still she continues to deal with having nightmares and does not understand the purpose of publishing such pictures or even watching it on TV for entertainment. Other American news consumers  protested to the New York Times for portraying the graphic images of corpses and destruction published by paper. According to one protestor in Emmett’s article, “I feel that the people who have suffered the most are being spectacularized by your blood-and-gore photographs, which do not at all inform me of the relief efforts, the political stability of the region or the extent of damage to families or infrastructure”. American photojournalists went to Haiti to document the severity of the battered island’s misery. It can be said that both readers and journalists find some of the images to be heartbreaking and undignified to its Haitian people that have stripped them of their dignity. Hence, journalists must aknowledge  the story in both words and pictures or the story is inadequate.

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