Monday, September 15, 2008

Would You Use This Photo?

The photo at the link below was selected as “best photo” by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association on the basis of:
  • Composition
  • Technical quality
  • Strong news value
  • Visual appeal
The question for you to answer in a comment to this post is: Would you use this photo. If yes or no, please explain why. Add your answer as comment to blog item. (There really is no right or wrong answer here. Just be able to defend your actions to your editor. (Grading: X if you do, 0 if you do not.)

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhrxdnf3_465cbsnbwgh

33 comments:

Andy Pino said...

I would use the photo. It evokes strong emotion. I understand it is graphic and some might object but a photograph shouldn't be binned for being "too real." It also presents a human side to the issue of illegal immigration which is usually presented with statistics.

Colleen said...

I don't think I would use the photo. It's too graphic, and even though it doesn't show the man's identity, it could still bother the family of the deceased. It's too disturbing.

Jenny said...

I would not use this photo. Even though it produces strong emotions for readers, I believe that it is much more important to respect this individual's family members, and to run another photo from the scene.

Yara Simón said...

I wouldn't use the photo. I think it's a very personal moment that can be told more effectively in a story.

Warren Tillery said...

I wouldn’t use this photo. While it’s certainly not as graphic as AP’s latest photo to get them in hot water (dying Marine), I believe news organizations should shy away from using photos with dead bodies as the main subject. Use a more generic one, such as the body covered, being carried away on a stretcher. This could even include the emotions of family members watching. The same message is conveyed, only sensitivity has replaced sensationalism.

Hailie said...

My first thought was to use the photo but the more I think about it, the more I feel that another, less personal image should be used. It has quality for its graphic elements but I would have to sympathize with the family here. I agree with Warren's comment about using a more generic image.

Anonymous said...

I would use this photo. I often feel media outlets are often too sensitive when it comes to the issues of death or violence.
This picture is great and demonstrates the harsh realities of "illegal" U.S. immigration. Also, the faces of both the victim and his relative are not showing.

Sarah Rhaloui said...

(I forgot to put my name there. Let me do it again)

I would use this photo. I often feel media outlets are often too sensitive when it comes to the issues of death or violence.
This picture is great and demonstrates the harsh realities of "illegal" U.S. immigration. Also, the faces of both the victim and his relative are not showing.

GatorGabe09 said...

I wouldn't use the photo. The image isn't needed in telling the story. Sometimes it seems like these types of pictures showing a dead body are used for the shock value and are completely insensitive to the family and the readers. Like a good writer, a good photographer wouldn't have to show the graphic detail.

Jill said...

I would not use this photo. It is too graphic and sad, and many other shots of the scene could be used here without having to show a dead man floating in the water.

Victoria said...

I would use the photo. News is supposed to portray reality, and although it is terribly sad, it is part of the harsh reality of illegal immigration. Because you can't see the faces of the two men, I don't feel it is in poor taste to run.

Jessica Lipscomb said...

I wouldn't use it. First of all, I don't think it's that great of a photo. It looked kind of blurry to me, and I didn't think the composition was anything special (but then again, I'm no photo expert). Additionally, it's kind of offensive. This isn't something I want to look at while eating my cereal in the morning. It seems to needlessly exploit a family's loss to prove some point about immigration. Surely another photo could be found that makes the same point in a more sensitive way.

AshRoss said...

I would use this photo because it definitely shows emotion and it's not too graphic. There's no blood or gore.

Cristin Comiskey said...

I would use the photo because it does not show the man's face, and the public needs a photo that mirrors the intensity of the story (at least to some degree). Although some may be disturbed by the photo, people have a right to see it. However, if used on the front page, I would place beneath the fold.

Oscar Montes said...

I wouldn't use the photo. I think it isn't fair to the family of the person.

Andrea Morgan said...

I would use the photo. Maybe I wouldn't use it on the front page, but I'd definitely include it. It is very moving because, even though you cannot see the face of the mourning man, you can sense his grief through his posture. It is not especially graphic, in my opinion. Yes, it shows a dead body, but the body could just as easily belong to a living person (There are no visible wounds. There is no blood.), so, especially if it's placed on an interior page, I don't see it being as offensive as it would be informative and powerful.

P.Stamps said...

I would not use this photo due to its graphic nature. The fact that the cutline would have to describe the graphic nature of what happened I feel that it would be hurtful to the family of the deceased man in the photo. Although the picture does evoke great emotion and allows readers to see what really happens, the deceased man and his family should not have to be forced to see their dead relative plastered on the front of a newspaper in an attempt to shock readers.

Mead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mead said...

I would use the photo as long as the cutline identified neither the mourner nor the deceased. I think a picture can more fully communicate the dangers and problems of immigration than can the story.

I would be sure, however, that neither of the two people in the photo are people are named in the article. If the reporter cannot avoid naming one or both, perhaps I wouldn't use the photo.

Jen said...

This photo tells a very human, very heartbreaking story in one click, making it a very powerful image. I agree with Andy when he says it presents a side that statistics or even extensive interviews could. It grabs attention, and it is a very real moment.

However, the fact it was chosen as best photo based things such as composition, technical quality and visual appeal bothers me. Sure, all those things are there, but they are utterly overwhelmed by the shock value everyone is talking about. There is no visual appeal here for me. It looks like "mondo" photography. Is this really the best photo?

Anyway, as far as if I would use it, I would say yes. It may be insensitve to the family members, but people need to see this. It is a problem we have to fix, and maybe this extreme photo will inspire some to do so.

But I wouldn't give this photographer any accolades.

Man, I must come off as really harsh.

Head Hero said...

Joshua Saval

I'm torn.

On one hand it shows great emotion, doesn't reveal identities and isn't too graphic.

On the other hand it can be considered somewhat graphic and insensitive.

In the end if I really had to choose - I would go with another photo.

Showing a dead body, no matter if there's no gore or identification, is wrong for a paper (in my opinion).

Stephanie said...

Yes, I would use this photo. It is not too graphic because you cannot see their faces. A journalist is supposed to show reality. This photo depicts real emotion. It would give more meaning to a story than just words.

Lindsay said...

I would not use the photo for a few reasons. I think that many journalists have become desensitized to the loss of human life, and would run this picture with no qualms because it is something that they see every day. But, for the people who have a personal connection to this photo, it is not an everyday occurrence. It is heart wrenching and sad and horrible and personal, and I think that an evocative story could accomplish similar results.

Lynette Zilio said...

I don't think I would use this photo because, although it evokes strong emotions and portrays the harshness and the realness of illegal immigration, it's a bit too much for a newspaper. I doubt that the family of the deceased would be too keen on the use of this picture online or in print anyway. Perhaps, another, less offensive, picture could be used.

Annie said...

I would use this photo but I understand the concern regarding the image. I feel that it evokes a strong emotional response and emphasizes the lengths people go to for a better life. I would however try to contact the family first and talk to them about it. But overall the picture gives a human perspective to a controversial topic.
-Annie Quintana

Alex said...

My first instinct is to take out the photo. Corpses don't belong in family papers. But after examining the photo, I think it brings a face to the issue of illegal immigration -- without bringing a face. Because neither the man and the corpse's faces are shown, I think this photo is acceptable for print as long as the story pertains to this specific incident. Readers will just have to accept the fact that news isn't always pretty.

Carstensen, Mindy said...

I would use this photo. It has a strong news value, and I think it clearly depicts the emotional side of immigration to the U.S. Even though it is graphic and may be upsetting to some people, it would be appropriate to use without giving the names of the deceased and the man mourning the death of his friend or family member, which is something the reporter and editors have done here.

Daniella D. said...

I would not use this photo. I don't think it is tasteful to run such a photograph in print because it is disturbing. Readers might get offended, especially if they are eating their cereal and open up their paper early in the morning to find such an image.

Lyn N. Kramer said...

I would use the photo. It has a strong emotional value and visual appeal, which attracts readers. It also has a purpose: It shows the readers the other side of immigration. However, I probably would not run it as the dominant photo on page one or in color. The photo is definitely important and should be run, but I think the same message would get across if the photo were a little bit smaller on page two and in black and white.

Matthew Watts said...

Yes, I would use the photo. I would put it on the front page. The immigration and border control issues that threaten our country are the forefront right now. This image encompasses all of that.

jkremer said...

I would use this photo. I think it is not graphic enough that it would offend most readers. I think it is more important to put an emotional face on the issue of immigration and border control than to worry about offending some readers.

Kensie said...

I would use the photo because it is a very powerful scene and it would definitely show readers how important the issue is.

Katie O. said...

I would use this photo. It is an example of good photojournalism because it depicts emotion and would help support a written story. The photo in itself tells a story. While it does depict a dead body, it is not a horribly grotesque image.