This week, the New York Post created a controversy when they published a photo of a man who had been pushed off the platform and on to the tracks in the path of an on coming train. The photo was taken just seconds before impact and showed the victim with the train bearing down on him.
If you have not read or heard of the this incident, I have included a link to the Post below. The front page photo appears there with the headline "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die DOOMED".
Should the photographer taken the picture, or tried to help the victim? Should the Post have published it?Was the headline appropriate? Does this photo sully the photojournalism profession? Does the publisher and the editor sully the name of the press? Do we as a people care anymore.. or have we completely given up on the media ever being ethical or responsible? Just some of the questions that we can discuss.. add your own.. express your opinion. This is a site for photographers..
My facts may be incorrect. They are taken from news and Internet accounts. With the disclaimer that hearings and trials are scheduled for spring and summer next year so nothing has been "proven" in court, here are the relevant "facts" from the news:
Trevon (or Trayvon) Martin was a 17-year-old staying at his father's house in a gated community in Florida. The night of February 26, he went to the store. He was walking back to his father's home when George Zimmerman spotted him.
A police report stated there was no indication that Trevon was involved in any criminal activity.
George was in an automobile, had a cell phone and was armed. George started following Trevon. George called the police and left his vehicle. The police told George not to follow Trevon, they would send someone.
A short time later, there was a confrontation between Trevon and George, during which Trevon was shot in the chest at close range and killed.
George was not charged until public outcry reached a level that could not be ignored.
Some questions come to mind:
Does Florida really have a law that permits person A to harass person B until there is a confrontation, then on killing person B, person A can claim they were standing their ground and avoid all consequences?
What would have happened if George had followed the police officer's direction and not followed Trevon?
What would have happened if Trevon also had a gun?
What would have happened if George did not have a gun?
And, finally, which facts are entirely incorrect?
Some vital evidence is hazy in the Trevon Martin case, that is true. The case is being handled carefully because this is the first time a "stand your ground" case has been brought to court and the ruling will set a precedent as to how the law is interpreted and exactly when it is necessary to defend yourself with deadly force.
The Stand Your Ground law only permits you to defend yourself with deadly force outside your home. The circumstances in which it becomes lawful to do so will be determined by this case. I imagine that George Zimerman will walk or get light punishment because he was part of the neighborhood watch and somewhat obligated investigate and report on Trevon Martin's suspicious behavior. However, I am quite sure that the law will be scrutinized to a greater degree and changed to punish those who abuse it. Stand Your Ground is not meant not turn you into a vigilante, nor does it give you the right to instigate or escalate altercations.
well sir i have read all the post to what you have put up to start with and every thing up to now on this (i am new here so if i am out of line please forgive me ) i do not feel the photo is in bad taste if he honestly couldnot help which sounds like he couldn't . every one wants to blame the photo jurnilst who takes the pic just like some dumbass stated he wanted to whip the person who took the picture of a little girl crying during the newtown incident as i responded to him very nicely happyness does not sell they have a job to do i do indeed think the media in general is making it worse BUT they are giving the people as a hole what they want the people say they do not want it but most people go to races just to see a wreck , they click on these images of people hurt or crying to see what it is about the people as a hole have come to want to see the misfortunie of others and there are some out there who do care but for the most part the ones that do not care seem to out number the others i posted some pix on my face book account of some accidents at the races localy and when i did i also told those who were looking at them NO ONE GOT HURT and if some one was to get hurt i would not post a pic of the wreck and every one was ok with it this is my two cents worth probly not worth that but it is how i feel
Why do people do what they do?, If someone jumped down and saved that man it would be a totally different story. "Should the photographer taken the picture, or tried to help the victim?" hindsight is 20/20, its so easy to say what should have been done after the fact, I do it all the time :(.
The media in this case is business as usual, tragedy makes better headlines than joy. Should the media only ever publish good things? I don't know.
I don't know much about photojournalism but in my opinion photography is about recording life and everything that happens good and bad. I see this often on national geographic when a pack of wolves hunts down a deer, in that case should the photographer try and save the deer? where do we draw the line? which lives are more important?
I guess we never know what we do until after we've done it.
We have descended into a country without a sense of morality or sense of what is good and important. Every fool with an I-Phone thinks they're going to be the next one to receive Pulitzer for reporting. A sad state of affairs. Did the taker of the picture break a law? Did they behave in an immoral and unethical manner?; without a doubt. It would be justice if every news service refused to pay for the picture. Not a chance of that though. So the picture taker profited personally from a criminal act, by the pusher, and an immoral act.