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The Real Story

Jack Shafer’s article, “Deadly Images: A Q&A with Barbie Zelizer, author of About to Die: How NewsImages Move the Public”  brings up interesting arguments related to the way images and the media portray death. The article discusses the invasion of privacy that pictures of dying or dead people cause. Most interesting is the truth resulting from amateur photographers photos via multimedia devices compared to the stories told by actual photographers and journalists. An example mentioned in the article is of Saddam Hussein’s hanging in 2006. While journalists depicted the event to be of a “sedate and respectful affair”, amateur videos emerged showing it to be “charged and angry”. Although the amateurs videos can be more gruesome or intrusive, I think its important to see the world for what is really is rather than to see it through a paid journalists altered view of reality. I chose the picture of a cellphone because it represents the power people hold to tell the true story of events occurring around the world.




I like your interpretation of the readings this week. Because of today’s technology, the average Joe is now in control. Very often I see photos or video footage on TV (usually associated with natural disasters) that people captured before a journalist did!


What’s awesome is that the increasing proliferation of media accessibility and distribution allows many more people to record, display, and judge events like never before. It is rarer to be force-fed a single perspective on a story, or even two or three. It’s possible now to follow twitter in real time as things are happening and receive the opinions (and possibly video) of thousands of people at once, which crafted together forms the “real story” as you say. The problem is now shifted to the end user – with an assault of information from all angles we use our own biases to piece together what we think, customizing the final story that emerges through our own self-limitations. Crazy, bro.


It is crazy how we are not receiving our news almost faster then the news on TV can disseminate it to us. I find it interesting too that you said you choose to the cellphone picture over the paid journalist altered view of reality because doesn’t everyone have an altered view on reality? Although we are getting news, images, and videos quicker and from the average Joe, I still think we need to be careful of bias out there.


Sometimes it’s good to be able to see another side of things, photo journalism is paid and there for limited to what the sponsor will and won’t approve. An amateur picture, although it might not have the quality a professional photography has can gives a different view of things. With this in mind you still have to consider the fact that these amateurs have their own view of things also and can show you what they want you to see.

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