Photographs of Death or Dying; Are They Necessary It has been said that, it would be a good thing if newspapers published more photographs of death and dying. There are many reasons why people say that photographs of dead and or dying people should or should not be published by newspapers. For example, some people say that pictures of people dying should be published in newspapers because death is a huge part of life. While members of the opposition state that death should remain private, and it should not be published, especially in a newspaper.
The argument for or against publishing pictures of death will be disputed forever, however, I believe that photographs of death are appropriate, and I will argue why I believe in the publishing of photos of death or dying. I believe that photographs of death or dying should very well be available for the to observe. Death is an inevitable part of life, it is going to happen, regardless of whether or not one wants it to occur. If death is a part of everyone’s life, why shouldn’t it be published? Perhaps if death were published in newspapers or magazines people would become less afraid of it because they know what death entails. Nora Ephron states “Death happens to be one of life’s main events. And it is irresponsible- and more than that, inaccurate- for newspapers to fail to show it” (Ephron 113).
THE CHRONOLOGICAL STAGES OF PHOTOJOURNALISM The origins of photojournalism can be seen in documentary photography as early as the 1870 s. People were interested as to what far away countries looked like and what famous people looked like but never had the chance to see them. Photographers such as Roger Fenton went out and took photographs of the English troops in the Crimea. Over the other side of ...
This quote is evidence that there are others that feel the same way as I do about this topic. Death is a part of life, and it should be available for the public to see. The opposition to what I believe claims that displaying pictures of death or dying in newspapers is absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary. Those members believe that death is private, and that it should remain that way. There is no reason for people’s private death to be published for thousands, perhaps millions to see. Most members of the opposition would call these photographs, cheap sensationalism.
An anonymous customer of the Washington Post states, “I thought I was reading the National Inquirer. Assigning the agony of a human being in terror of imminent death to the status of a side show act” (Ephron 111).
This reader is clearly unsatisfied and quite offended by the pictures of death that the newspaper has published on the front page of the paper. Death is clearly something private that everyone goes through, and death should stay lonely and not be published. The opposition’s argument is apparent and somewhat valid, however, the situation should be looked at from another perspective. For example, it is quite possible that if more photographs of death or dying were published, people would think twice before doing certain activities.
An example of this would be car accidents. If pictures of car accidents were published in newspapers people might have second thoughts about being hot shots when driving their cars. Ephron exclaims,” I recognize that printing pictures of corpses raises all sorts of problems about taste and titillation and sensationalism; the fact is, however, that people die” (Ephron 113).
If death is a part of life, and if pictures of death can help save people by showing them the consequences to their actions, then why should pictures of death or dying be prohibited in newspapers or magazines? Ephron stated that it would be a good thing if more pictures of death and dying were published by newspapers. On the other hand, some people believe that death is a very private part of life and that it should remain that way. If death is an expected part of one’s life why shouldn’t be shared for many to see? The argument on whether or not these pictures should be printed for the general public to observe has been and will remain to be argued upon for years to come, although the final decision goes to the customers, because if they do not buy them, the editors and the writers will become unemployed.
On the night of September 28, 1983, in Roeburne, W. A. , five off-duty police arrived at the Victoria Hotel after a social night of drinking at a local golf club. One of the officers verbally abused an Aboriginal man waiting to be served at the bar. This man, Ashley James, was followed out of the hotel where one of the policeman knocked him to the ground.James retaliated and an all out fight began ...
Works Cited” Boston Fire Escape Collapse.” By permission of Stanley J. Forman; Pulitzer Prize, 1976. Ephron, Nora. The Boston Photographs. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin’s, 2002 Ephron, Nora. The Boston Photographs. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.