Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Photographs are powerful, and photojournalism can be a strong and compelling mode of communication. But, as with any media, there are ethics to be considered.
Some of the most famous photojournalistic images are those of people in horrible circumstances, often in great pain. Many of these pictures win awards, such as the well known Kevin Carter's Wanting a Meal, of a vulture waiting as a young child starves to death, which won a Pulitzer. If you do not know the photo, or the outcome, I strongly suggest looking into it, although it is a very sad story.
The code for journalists and photojournalists says that reporters and photographers are not supposed to interfere with the scene. But should this always apply?
After a photographer makes such a strong and powerful image, he/she has a human duty, in my opinion, to use it to help the situation, and cause awareness and improvement. But it doesn't seem like that is often the case. Instead, these photographs are awarded and given prizes.
Some examples of the type of photos I am talking about can be found at and
I cannot look at most of these photos. They are too intense, and I'm not sure how much good has been done because of them. I also know that I could not create such a picture. As a photojournalist, is that wrong of me? Are these photos moral and ethical?

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