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Old 06-28-2006, 09:16 AM   #1
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Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

So many times you see reports on TV from war zones and you look at the footage and wonder: how the hell can those journalists just sit back and do nothing while a crime is being committed right before their eyes??

Case in point, last year in Iraq an engineer was kidnapped and led into a car at gunpoint right in front of an Australian film crew who asked the man's name. The man had a very sad look on his face and looked at them as if it was the last time he was ever going to see anyone else again. The car with the hooded terrorists sped off and I was left to wonder - WHY didn't the camera crew try to stop the kidnapping? (the man later escaped....) Why didn't they try to fight? How could they just STAND there and let another human being be kidnapped without doing anything?

Another case in point - Reuters news agency has reporters here who cover the news from the West Bank and Gaza. After the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken hostage, newsmen from Reuters interviewed hooded Hamas members brandishing their weapons, boasting that they knew where he was being held and that the "zionist enemy" will suffer greatly. While I was watching I was thinking that immediately after that interview, the cameramen should have followed the terrorists and then call the Israeli military commander and informed them of the location of the terrorists - the interrogation of whom would have ultimately led to the whereabouts of the soldier.

Its so frustrating to know that those journalists don't care about anything else but the story. What about the soldier's family??

On the other side of the spectrum, following the tragic death of the family on the beach in Gaza, cameras followed the every move of the poor little girl crying over her father and family. Why couldn't the cameraman have put down his camera and try to comfort this little girl instead of sticking the camera in her face and recording her grief??

Sometimes I really HATE the press.........
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Old 06-28-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

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Originally posted by AchtungBono

Its so frustrating to know that those journalists don't care about anything else but the story. What about the soldier's family??
You know when people use the term "shooting" film, it doesn't really mean the cameras shoot. How do you honestly expect a camera man a man with a mic to stand up to a man with a machine gun? Seriously?


Quote:
Originally posted by AchtungBono

On the other side of the spectrum, following the tragic death of the family on the beach in Gaza, cameras followed the every move of the poor little girl crying over her father and family. Why couldn't the cameraman have put down his camera and try to comfort this little girl instead of sticking the camera in her face and recording her grief??

Sometimes I really HATE the press.........
Can't really comment on this for I didn't see the footage, but like they always say there are 2 sides to every story. Was it JUST this girl and a camera man? What was going on?





Almost every occupation, even the most noble come with conflicts to humanity...
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Old 06-28-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Re: Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

You know when people use the term "shooting" film, it doesn't really mean the cameras shoot. How do you honestly expect a camera man a man with a mic to stand up to a man with a machine gun? Seriously?




Can't really comment on this for I didn't see the footage, but like they always say there are 2 sides to every story. Was it JUST this girl and a camera man? What was going on?





Almost every occupation, even the most noble come with conflicts to humanity...
Hi BVS,
If G-d forbid I saw you (or any other stranger) getting held up at gunpoint on the street, you can be damm sure that I'd rush the SOB and try my hardest to help you - and I'm sure you'd do the same for me.

Just like the passengers of United 93 - they had no weapons against the hijackers but they decided that they just couldn't sit back and let the plane hit the white house and they fought back. That to me is the greatest heroism of all.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: Re: Re: Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

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Originally posted by AchtungBono


Hi BVS,
If G-d forbid I saw you (or any other stranger) getting held up at gunpoint on the street, you can be damm sure that I'd rush the SOB and try my hardest to help you - and I'm sure you'd do the same for me.

Just like the passengers of United 93 - they had no weapons against the hijackers but they decided that they just couldn't sit back and let the plane hit the white house and they fought back. That to me is the greatest heroism of all.
Yes but there is a fine line between heroism and stupidity. Having a group attack some assholes with boxcutters you have a chance. Attacking a man with a pistol and you're standing within diving distance your odds are less but there is still a chance. Rushing a man with a machine gun and the distance between you and he is more than diving distance your chances are slim to none unless you are Jack Bauer or the man is a horrific shot. But the chances are he can fire off many rounds before you even reach him and he's taken out the hostage, you, and 2 onlookers. Now you have 4 dead whereas in real like none.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yes but there is a fine line between heroism and stupidity. Having a group attack some assholes with boxcutters you have a chance. Attacking a man with a pistol and you're standing within diving distance your odds are less but there is still a chance. Rushing a man with a machine gun and the distance between you and he is more than diving distance your chances are slim to none unless you are Jack Bauer or the man is a horrific shot. But the chances are he can fire off many rounds before you even reach him and he's taken out the hostage, you, and 2 onlookers. Now you have 4 dead whereas in real like none.
I know that what you're saying makes sense on some level but, personally, if I was caught in a situation where I saw someone kidnapped or taken hostage in front of me and I did nothing, I would have nightmares and my conscience would be eating me alive and I'd be thinking day or night of that poor person who looked me in the face as he was driven away - probably never to be seen again. That face would torment me to the end of my life - especially if the terrorists kill him.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do journalist's obligations override their humanity?

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Originally posted by AchtungBono


I know that what you're saying makes sense on some level but, personally, if I was caught in a situation where I saw someone kidnapped or taken hostage in front of me and I did nothing, I would have nightmares and my conscience would be eating me alive and I'd be thinking day or night of that poor person who looked me in the face as he was driven away - probably never to be seen again. That face would torment me to the end of my life - especially if the terrorists kill him.
I understand. Personally, more than likely I would have done something. It's just in my nature, when it works out people call you lucky, when it doesn't they call you stupid...I once chased down and jumped into my mother's car as the car was being stolen. I was lucky and the car thief freaked out and abandoned the car. But as I was reminded he could have easily had a gun or just kept driving away and kidnapped me, I was like 14. I've also wrestled a knife out of a guy's hand who tried mugging me and a friend. I walked away with a cut, but once again as my friend always says "I just would have been out $5 and a wallet, but if something happened to you, I would have lost a friend."

So I see both sides. I don't think it's any reason to hate the press.
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:45 PM   #7
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This is an ugly thing to say, but I have the feeling that some of these journos may have a "colonialist" mentality--that is, it's not just that the story is all-important but that they are professionally, and/or emotionally disattached to the conflicts they are covering. If you have an attitude that a thousand Iraqi/Guatemalan/African lives are worth a single American life, then if you cover enough "hot spots" in the world it all becomes a bit blurry after a while, and it's none of your biz anyway. You just can't wait to get those juicy Pulitzer-Prize winning pics for safekeeping back in the air-conditioned hotel room and strech out by the pool afterwards. Sometimes a provocative pic IS taken by someone with a conscience--if I didn't know the story of the guy who took that famous pic of the starving African kid crouched wailing on the ground with the vulture waiting in the background, I'd be very upset. But he was a man with a mission so I wasn't upset at HIM.

Not that I'm letting the governments who don't give a damn about human life in the first place who create these damned situations off the hook. Iraq being a prime example. And I'm sure there are plenty of noble potential Dith Pran Rescuer or Robert Young Pelton-types to go around. But on the one hand, the world has gottena LOT more dangerous for journos these days--people do not respect them as they used to, nor the Red Cross. There are no sancrosanct parties. Everyone is fair game. Some journos may be follwing editorial guidelines in the very real face of death. Some may be simply thick-skinned and cynical. But some may just be condescending bastards. I hope that not many of these latter are the case.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #8
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while i'm sure there is a grey area, if every journalist stopped to help everyone they filmed who was in some sort of distress then who would we have to document the attrocities that the world really needs to see?

was it more important that kevin carter took the picture of the girl with the vulture therefore showing the whole world clearly for the first time what was happening, or did he help her, not get that pic and have the rest of world continue to ignore the situation as they had untill then.

is it more important that a photographer take a shot of extreme violence that he can broadcast to a world that maybe doesn't otherwise know whats going on, or that he intervenes and possible loses his own life in the process leaving no record of what really occurred.

personally i think conflict photographers in particular serve a very valid purpose - as a photographer your job is to document an occurence for others to see and understand, not to intervene in it.

and yes, i'm sure this takes a very special sort of person to be able to stand back and capture these sort of thigns without interfering, but that really is their job and i'm sure its tough to do. the fact that they do nothing though doesn't necessarily mean that they feel nothing - the phot of sudan is a prime exampe as he committed suicide shortly after.
i imagine it can be a rather damaging job to the psyche but i think its very important that its done that way.

as i say, i'm sure there are grey areas and i'm sure you'll find many journalists who have intervened in situations when they felt they could and probably have helped many people, we maybe just don't hear so much about that.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:44 AM   #9
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This reminds me of a situation a few weeks ago on Mt. Everest when several groups of climbers walked right past a man who lay dying because they thought he was too far gone and they didn't want anything to get in their way of making the summit. Thankfully, a group did stop and help the climber - who wound up surviving. I don't know how the people that didn't stop can look at themselves in the mirror - they should be ashamed of themselves. It's about doing the right thing and being a good person.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Geez, Randhail, that is disgusting. I can't beleive that nobody would even stop to comfort the poor guy even if they didn't think he was going to make it. And yes, I've read Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" and seen enough docs on Everest to know how capricious the weather can be up there, and how sometimes there might not be enough time to help a wounded man to Base Camp...but it's simple human comapssion...?!??!?

And Digsy...you bring up some sobering points...but I wasn't trying to present a conflict, at least not in the case of the pic I cited. There's no question if it had been me. I wou;d have taken the pic And helped the girl if I could. I am sure that is what he did.....

P.S. Ooohhh! My 1000th post...I'm now a "Refugee"...Kind of fitting, as that song kind of fits in with this thread..."(All together now: "WHOA-oh-oh..."...From "War" for you younger fans who may not know the song..)
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