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  • Photojournalism during a disaster

    Do you guys think photojournalists are needed during or after a disaster situation? Do you think photojournalists should remain observers only or should they intervene in some situations?

  • #2
    I think they are needed, if only to educate people. If you never saw the destruction, a tornado brings, you won't know to flee when one is coming towards your town. If photojournalism has shown you a town similar to yours, ripped to shred by a tornado, you'll learn to fear natural disaster, and you'll be aware of them. I think they should remain observers, as long as the competent authorities are on sight. If they are the first persons on a scene, then I guess it's up to their human instinct, whether they want to help or not. They definitely should be careful and not risk themselves, since they aren't trained rescuers, and that's valid for anybody who gets to a disaster scene before the rescuers.
    mariee likes this.

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    • #3
      Honestly, I support photojournalism. They help tell the stories of the people who are affected and that human angle is very important when it comes to getting people to help out. I personally think it is tragic if people's homes are destroyed and there are no records... the idea of neighborhoods just vanishing without anyone seeing it just seems like such a terrible thing.

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      • #4
        I never understood how chaos and life threatening events can be happening and these photographers and camera men (and women) would be hanging around . Not only during environment disaster but during political turmoil or capturing live scenes of robbery and vandalism, rioting.
        It gives exclusive footage that definitely gives the station they work for huge ratings. They put their lives at risk but honestly some just don't know when to call it quits .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mariee View Post
          Do you guys think photojournalists are needed during or after a disaster situation? Do you think photojournalists should remain observers only or should they intervene in some situations?
          They're there to capture images of what's going on. They probably do intervene when a person's life is in imminent danger. However, the evidence they capture with their cameras is vital for informing the rest of the outside world.

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          • #6
            I think it's important because it plays on some people's brain and makes them donate when otherwise they wouldn't. It makes you think and gets you familiar with how terrible the disaster really was and how much the victims need help.

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            • #7
              Both during and after are worthy of documentation, I think.

              Some people are heroes, others just record things...sometimes, they're the same people, other times it's just a job or natural inclination/drive. If they have the perspective of not doing anything at that moment because the story they cover is going to do more by raising awareness, so they're investing in the coverage, then I can't fault them for that.

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              • #8
                I would never do it but I appreciate those who do. Some of the picture that come from natural disasters can be breathtaking and timeless. Personally, I'm going to be hiding in safety while some lunatic chases tornadoes or sits near a hurricane waiting for that perfect shot.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PaulFMooney View Post
                  I would never do it but I appreciate those who do. Some of the picture that come from natural disasters can be breathtaking and timeless. Personally, I'm going to be hiding in safety while some lunatic chases tornadoes or sits near a hurricane waiting for that perfect shot.
                  I'd say it's smart to document the outcome of a disaster and show it to the world, but chasing tornadoes isn't really something you should be doing, like, ever

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lagoonlife View Post
                    I never understood how chaos and life threatening events can be happening and these photographers and camera men (and women) would be hanging around . Not only during environment disaster but during political turmoil or capturing live scenes of robbery and vandalism, rioting.
                    It gives exclusive footage that definitely gives the station they work for huge ratings. They put their lives at risk but honestly some just don't know when to call it quits .
                    This is why I started the topic. I know a lot of people that think like this in real life.

                    I don't think photojournalism is about the money, it's about showing what's happening to the world and documenting it for now and for the future.

                    I do think that photojournalism is needed. And I understand that most of the times photojournalists aren't prepared or capable of helping in some situations, and documenting it is the best they can do. What can one person with a camera do during a riot, or robbery, or political turmoil? What they can do is capture it for everyone to see. On the other hand I think it wouldn't be right to for example, let someone drawn before you if you can swim. In that situation I would put down the camera.

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                    • #11
                      A photograph is a biography of a moment. A photojournalist's job is to document an event, but not to become part of said event. Same as a reporter, you report the news not become a part of it. Their job is to show the brutality of a disaster, the aftermath, and the rebuilding, providing a testament to the idea that mankind will always pull together and come back. We rebuild. Photos are used as a warning also of what can happen and how we can deal with the effects. I don't think any Photographer would sit by and watch someone drown and not do anything to help.

                      Photography is a strong tool, a propaganda device, and a weapon for the defense of the environment... Photographs are believed more than words; thus they can be used persuasively to show people who have never taken the trouble to look what is there. They can point out beauties and relationships not previously believed or suspect to exist. ----Eliot Porter
                      mariee likes this.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lagoonlife View Post
                        I never understood how chaos and life threatening events can be happening and these photographers and camera men (and women) would be hanging around . Not only during environment disaster but during political turmoil or capturing live scenes of robbery and vandalism, rioting.
                        It gives exclusive footage that definitely gives the station they work for huge ratings. They put their lives at risk but honestly some just don't know when to call it quits .
                        I have similar feelings as you do. If I was a journalist trapped in some disaster area, I would take as many pictures as I could, not worrying about details but focusing on lending people or animals a hand that might require urgent help. Could I stand there and watch a child or dog being carried away by floods or suffocating in a fire, filming it?
                        I severely doubt it.

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                        • #13
                          So long as photojournalists are not impeding search and rescue or putting others in harms way I am okay with it. By photographing and filming these terrible events it helps to tell the story of the disaster and the lives that are impacted. Their photos humanize the events. By doing so, this helps to educate others. Seeing is believing.

                          With all that being said, I think you have to be extremely dedicated to your work to put yourself in harms way to capture these events on camera. I don't think I could ever do this myself. You have to have some serious dedication to continue doing your job while chaos and destruction is going on around you.
                          mariee likes this.

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                          • #14
                            The power of image and video is unquestionable nowadays, people have to see it with their own eyes in order to empathize and such has always been the case only nowadays we have the means to record and share these tragic experiences of life.

                            I believe photojournalism in countries where there is war, or other sort of hazard that these people put themselves in front of, is a potential form of martyrdom, especially considering for example the innocent journalists that died in Iraq shot by US troops who thought they had an RPG that was actually a long camera lens. And who knows how many other countless undocumented cases, this one is only famous and known because of the genius of Wikileaks and its founder, or else even this would have been under wraps.

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                            • #15
                              I think that photojournalism is something very important, but hard. To start with you are there not helping directly, just taking pictures, but on the other hand if it wasn't for those professionals no one would know what is happening in those regions and that is equally important to take action to another level.
                              mariee likes this.

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