War Journalism


“Why photograph war? Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior, which has existed throughout history, by the means of photography?” This quote by James Nachtwey, in my opinion, sums up the reason one chooses to be a war photographer. A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories about a war. In my opinion, one of the most extreme jobs out there; their life is constantly in danger. These types of journalists have come across a lot of controversy in their day. They have revealed things to the public that we would have never found out if it were not for war journalists. They tell a story about an event through photos. They show the world what we need to see. I never thought about photojournalism before I took this class and I never stopped and thought about how much goes into it, especially when you are a war photographer. It entails more than just snapping photos and getting the next great shot. They have to be physically and mentally prepared. War journalists almost, in my eyes, have to relate with a criminal. They have to pretend they do not have a heart in order to receive the picture they want; to be able to go back and tell their story and get their point across with his or her pictures. James Natchwey could not have said it more perfect when he said “And I realized that many of the people I was photographing might have been the very ones who had committed the massacstarving-african-children-aidsres that I had witnessed just a few weeks before. And it was like taking the express elevator to hell.” He knew by taking the photos that he wanted, he was choosing to participate in something immoral. Even when Ahmed Fadaam made the statement about his pictures telling the world what is truly happening during a war, I completely agree with him but he is still participating in this circle of choosing immorality. Pictures that war journalists take are showing everyone what is really going on and letting us know what human beings are capable of committing. But what makes it right for war journalists to jus take the pictures and not help? When I saw the picture with the little boy starving and the volcher looking at him, with the intentions of eating him when he dies, I was disgusted. I was not disgusted at the picture but at the idea of someone taking this picture and than finding out that he took the picture and left the boy. I understand that journalists want the world to see the truth. To be aware of what is going on in the world besides what people and the government says. I am in agreement with this but what I do not understand is how they can just let the boy die. You have time to take the picture and save the boy because by you leaving the boy, in my eyes, you are just as guilty. You are participating in the war. I am a firm believer in the saying “practice what you preach.” These photographers want to relay the message back to the public but they also decide not to be involved. In my eyes, becoming a war journalist, you are involved. I will also sate the counter argument that if they save one, they have to save all. I see that point but when you have the chance to take the picture and save a human life, than do it. Yes you are risking a lot, but people know what they are risking by choosing that profession. Betrand Russel made the choice of taking that photo without saving the child but is that right or wrong? I feel that this is a debate that has gone on for a very long time and will continue to as long as journalists continue to take pictures like this and not help.

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2 Comments »

  1. piposerrano Said:

    It’s brilliant Ashley! I think it is a very mature and interesting though! I enjoy it a lot…keep on going this way…
    And I think your new theme (design) is amazing…!!
    very good job!!

    Try to work a bit on other interesting widgets as the “searcher”, tag cloud, (use tags!!) ans some other which could be interesting for this blog!!
    see you tomorrow!

  2. piposerrano Said:

    1 more thing…you should link more words, photographers or places you speak about! that would be perfect!!


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