It’s true that a picture is worth more than a thousand words, and that’s why newspapers splash their front pages with large photos that are far more likely to capture audiences than the best crafted words. Photos not only augment the story and lend credence to the written word; they also draw attention to the story with their starkness and candor. And although it’s not something that we like to admit, when it comes to making news and headlines, it’s the pictures of natural disasters and people struggling to cope with them that steal the show and grab the largest and most prominent space. In fact, the more the photo tugs at your heartstrings, the more valuable it is.
But as both recent and past events have shown us, there is always a thin line between shooting great pictures and following ethics in photojournalism – the recent earthquake in Haiti has created photo ops for people who want to show the world the extent of the destruction that has ravaged this tiny island; at the same time, it has raised serious questions about the moral responsibilities of people who are in a position to help those affected, but who choose instead to shoot photographs of them. There was one of a woman trapped in rubble from below her waist, with a few other affected and bleeding people standing by. Should the photographer have helped her first, or was he just doing his job by snapping this picture? Read More→