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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> No Photographing the Dead
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09/13/2005 05:46:48 PM · #1
Well said Robt.

And your right, people need to refresh themselves with our Constitutional rights: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
09/11/2005 04:14:58 AM · #2
Regarding issues of disaster coverage and "freedom of the press", and how they may be impacted by common sense and one's own moral scruples, it's worth returning to the source and studying the basics; the actual First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

*****

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

*****

It does not say that there are no limits to our rights of free speech and self-expression. It says that the Federal government cannot make laws that abridge our freedom of speech. The supreme court has held that all branches of the Federal government are therefore obliged to respect that freedom by not curtailing it. This would include FEMA, which by established law cannot tell us what we are allowed to photograph or not photograph. The only exceptions to our "freedom to observe, document, and report", from a Federal perspective, would be in situations that impact national security.

Of course, a lot of wool is pulled over the peoples' eyes in the name of "national security", and always has been. Remember Nixon (and others) refusing to hand over papers/tapes from the Oval Office under that justification? But I digress...

This fundamental, constitutional freedom of ours is the main reason why so many of us view the Patriot Act" as an insidiously dangerous thing, because it gives the government broad powers to ignore the constitution in pursuit of "public safety". But again I digress.

An interesting conflict arises when you realize that the same amendment says the government will make no law regarding an establishment of religion. So the courts have held that allowing prayer in the schools is tantamount to "making a law" in the same sense that FEMA refusing to allow photographers access is "making a law", and yet it would seem that the right of free speech would mandate that the government NOT forbid prayer in public schools. Or do religious people not have this right? It's complicated. But again, I digress...

In any event, NONE of this has anything to do with, say, rights of property. I am under no obligation to allow you so-called "free speech" in my house, or in my shop, or in my car, or indeed ever; as an individual not employed by or regulated by the Federal government, I am not required to respect your right to free speech at all. If I try to stop you from saying what you want to say, for example, by "censoring" your posts in this forum (assuming I had the power to do this, which SC does but I do not) this is NOT a free speech issue in the sense that what happens in this forum is in no way regulated by the Constitution of the United States.

I believe I'm digressing again... I believe I'll stop now. I can't even remember what my original point was, except that it's related tot he fact that it seems to me that a lot of people (I'm not pointing fingers here, I haven't even READ half the posts in this thread) don't really know what they're talking about when they discuss "freedom of the press" and "free speech". These are very complex issues, not cut-and-dried at all.

For the record, I believe reporters and photographers should not be hindered in any way beyond common-sense rules regarding safety and non-interference with rescue efforts as they attempt to document this immense disaster.

Robt.
09/11/2005 03:47:15 AM · #3
update:

//www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/09/10/katrina.media/index.html
09/10/2005 03:48:18 PM · #4
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

This is what gave me that impression:

Originally posted by nsbca7:


For the most part the words Journalism and Ethics put together in the same sentence is an oxymoron.


From what I've seen, for the most part. I feel even more that way about politicians and lawyers, but that doesn't mean I think we could do without them.

Message edited by author 2005-09-10 15:58:20.
09/10/2005 03:45:24 PM · #5
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Originally posted by greatandsmall:

And considering your aforementioned disdain for the press...


?
True, I do have great disdain for certain aspects of the press( and who doesn't?) that does not begin to suggest that I have contempt or disdain for the press as a whole. The only disdain I have for the press is when they tend to overlook the blatent facts or bend the truth to suite an agenda. Right or Left.


This is what gave me that impression:
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Stop and help or keep driving.

For the most part the words Journalism and Ethics put together in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
09/10/2005 03:38:54 PM · #6
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

And considering your aforementioned disdain for the press...


?
True, I do have great disdain for certain aspects of the press( and who doesn't?) that does not begin to suggest that I have contempt or disdain for the press as a whole. The only disdain I have for the press is when they tend to overlook the blatent facts or bend the truth to suit an agenda. Right or Left.

Message edited by author 2005-09-10 15:45:30.
09/10/2005 03:33:48 PM · #7
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

Personally, I still haven't formed a solid opinion on this, but when I do, it will be consistent.


You think so? Feelings, many times, are what govern our oppinions in such choices.

I will state a consistent oppinion and say no law should be enacted to stop you or anyone else from photographing some lone motorist's brains on the pavement. I do believe such an activity should be restricted by ones own moral guidelines, should they have any. When I say I think something is wrong, such as photographing a motorcycle accident, I say that as oppinion and in no way should that be taken as an advocation of government censorship of such an activity.
09/10/2005 03:24:27 PM · #8
Originally posted by nsbca7:



My oppinions regarding this subject have not changed a bit. There is a difference between the press being alowed to record the events at a catastophic event and a passer-by snapping pictures of a motorcyclist smashed into the curb.


So it's OK for a press photographer to photograph your dead sister and display it for all the world to see, as long as she was killed by a hurricane and not by the asphalt? And considering your aforementioned disdain for the press, why do you now have so much faith in thier ability to record the events?

And I'm pretty sure that there are many press photographers who got their start by snapping pictures and submitting them to the local publications. In my small town, it's not unlikely for such a thing to happen. How does one regulate who is or isn't qualified to photograph something? I'm pretty sure some of the Katrina images were shot by "passers-by".

According to what you said in my thread, shouldn't everyone should be helping to save lives instead of taking pictures?

I don't know how many people are killed in motorcycle accidents because of not wearing a helmet, but I think the numbers are pretty high. Our governor voted to repeal the helmet law in our state, which has lead to an increased number of deaths. Now, if there were a link between his vote to the motorcycle manufacturers' lobby wouldn't you wonder if he had the citizens' best interest at heart? How would we be made aware of such a thing unless the press brought it to our attention?

Who's to say what causes are important enough to warrant photographing the dead? Do we need to match up pictures of their bodies with the confirmed statistics to prove that they are indeed dead? And what if they died from a motorcycle accident as they were evacuating?

Personally, I still haven't formed a solid opinion on this, but when I do, it will be consistent.

Edit: P.S. I couldn't do it either. Don't have the stomache for it.

Message edited by author 2005-09-10 15:27:24.
09/10/2005 03:01:45 PM · #9
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

Originally posted by laurielblack:

Originally posted by nsbca7:

I don't think I mentioned Bush one time this whole thread until now.

This thread is about censorship and the need to document the facts. Wheather for or opposed, let us try to keep this a litle more on subject.


You need to re-read some of your posts in this thread then.

This thread is about what you and some others perceive as censorship and covering up the truth to save political face. I guess everyone who offers an opinion other than yours gets the same negativity in the end.


I find this especially interesting in light of his responses in this thread that I started on 08/27/2005.


From that thread:

Originally posted by nsbca7:

That is not really what I was criticizing. Those PJs were sent or went of thier own volition for the sole purpose of capturing images in a war zone of in a famine stricken area, they are no passers-by (in most cases) who just happen to have a camera.



My oppinions regarding this subject have not changed. There is a difference between the press being alowed to record the events at a catastophic event and a passer-by snapping pictures of a motorcyclist smashed into the curb.

Perhaps where that line is drawn I am not certain, but that in no way changes my inner feeling towards the subject. And just to clarify something; I could not be one of those photojournalists with that gruesome task in front of them. Very few have what it takes to stay in that line of business more then a few years if they make it that long.

Message edited by author 2005-09-10 15:10:40.
09/10/2005 02:49:45 PM · #10
Originally posted by laurielblack:

Originally posted by nsbca7:

I don't think I mentioned Bush one time this whole thread until now.

This thread is about censorship and the need to document the facts. Wheather for or opposed, let us try to keep this a litle more on subject.


You need to re-read some of your posts in this thread then.

This thread is about what you and some others perceive as censorship and covering up the truth to save political face. I guess everyone who offers an opinion other than yours gets the same negativity in the end.


I find this especially interesting in light of his responses in this thread that I started on 08/27/2005.

09/10/2005 02:48:44 PM · #11
I am not saying blind trust, we must remain educated and alert. But I am saying that even the "almighty" U.S. Constitution falls under the command of natural law or the golden rule, so to speak. Even free speech and the press have limits both regulated and self sustaining. So don't simply quote that without also quoting the nearly limitless precedents and cases that explain the Constitution further.
09/10/2005 02:45:31 PM · #12
Originally posted by nsbca7:

I don't think I mentioned Bush one time this whole thread until now.

This thread is about censorship and the need to document the facts. Wheather for or opposed, let us try to keep this a litle more on subject.


You need to re-read some of your posts in this thread then.

This thread is about what you and some others perceive as censorship and covering up the truth to save political face. I guess everyone who offers an opinion other than yours gets the same negativity in the end.
09/10/2005 02:45:18 PM · #13
what do you mean call it democracy? is decency and correct behavior in line with or out of line with democracy? I believe that democracy is the closest governemental system man has come up with that ensures peace and lawfulness, and demotes poor behavior such as anarchy, tyrants, and civil unrule. perhaps you should expand on that comment...

isn't funny (or actually sad) how far humanity has fallen, when someone proclaims the virtues of decency, respect and love of fellow man, and there will still be someone arguing against it?
09/10/2005 02:43:26 PM · #14
Originally posted by Cutter:

It is not a matter of censorship. Censorship implies motives. Motive implies, in the instance, negative motives. Assuming censorship is taking place to satisfy negative motives, is taking a stance of ultimate cynicism. And cynicism is one of the major evils at work within each and every one of us. Cynicism and skepticism breed nothing, but malcontent and circular belief systems. Disbelief is not a form of believing. It is the absence of it. And the more you train you mind and soul to not believe most things, or be skeptical and cynical, the harder it is to break out of that vicious cycle.

I believe respect and love can cross all forms and modes of communication and life. And when people have loved ones missing, or in fact know they are dead, I do not see any excuse to justify capturing that scene and using it to whatever end.

You could call it censorship, but that is cynical.

Or you could call decency and call it right.


An advocation for blind faith and trust? This is not God we are talking about, it is the US Goverment.
09/10/2005 02:41:51 PM · #15
Originally posted by Cutter:

It is not a matter of censorship. Censorship implies motives. Motive implies, in the instance, negative motives. Assuming censorship is taking place to satisfy negative motives, is taking a stance of ultimate cynicism. And cynicism is one of the major evils at work within each and every one of us. Cynicism and skepticism breed nothing, but malcontent and circular belief systems. Disbelief is not a form of believing. It is the absence of it. And the more you train you mind and soul to not believe most things, or be skeptical and cynical, the harder it is to break out of that vicious cycle.

I believe respect and love can cross all forms and modes of communication and life. And when people have loved ones missing, or in fact know they are dead, I do not see any excuse to justify capturing that scene and using it to whatever end.

You could call it censorship, but that is cynical.

Or you could call decency and call it right.


Or you could call it undemocratic.

Amendment I (1791)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press
; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the government for a redress of grievances.


Message edited by author 2005-09-10 14:44:24.
09/10/2005 02:40:01 PM · #16
It is not a matter of censorship. Censorship implies motives. Motive implies, in the instance, negative motives. Assuming censorship is taking place to satisfy negative motives, is taking a stance of ultimate cynicism. And cynicism is one of the major evils at work within each and every one of us. Cynicism and skepticism breed nothing, but malcontent and circular belief systems. Disbelief is not a form of believing. It is the absence of it. And the more you train you mind and soul to not believe most things, or be skeptical and cynical, the harder it is to break out of that vicious cycle.

I believe respect and love can cross all forms and modes of communication and life. And when people have loved ones missing, or in fact know they are dead, I do not see any excuse to justify capturing that scene and using it to whatever end.

You could call it censorship, but that is cynical.

Or you could call decency and call it right.
09/10/2005 02:38:52 PM · #17
Originally posted by laurielblack:

No, actually it doesn't. Why can't you let a statement stand as it is instead of trying to bully it into something it's not?


Originally posted by laurielblack:

...now that they're doing something the Bush-bashing folks like.


You brought it up. I don't think I mentioned Bush one time this whole thread until now. And accusing someone of being a Bush-basher does in fact open up your politcal leanings, like it or not.

This thread is about censorship and the need to document the facts. Wheather for or opposed, let us try to keep this a litle more on subject.
09/10/2005 02:33:12 PM · #18
I'll also note that there was no censorship when the Tsunami hit not even a year ago and that was far more gruesome, and many of the deaths were tourist from the west, even US family members.

Here is a tsunami picture from CNN
mass grave and bodys

Message edited by author 2005-09-10 14:40:09.
09/10/2005 02:30:21 PM · #19
Originally posted by nsbca7:

It was a bit more then a general statement and being you did make it it does in fact open up for discussion your politcal leanings and your primary source of news . Be careful which can of worms you choose to open.


No, actually it doesn't. Why can't you let a statement stand as it is instead of trying to bully it into something it's not? Nobody cares what news I watch or what my political leanings are except you, it seems. I'm prejudged simply because I live in Texas (else you wouldn't have mentioned me being a "republican from Texas"). You don't know me or what I am, what I stand for, or what I believe. A simple comment gets turned all around into this because I pointed out the obvious.

And btw...I don't need your cautionary statement to discuss what I choose to discuss or to comment how I wish to comment. Thanks anyway.
09/10/2005 02:26:04 PM · #20
Originally posted by Cutter:



In regards to other comments here, why can't there be decency and respect for other's loved ones without calling it a full blown conspiracy and bringing up potential outcomes that deal in the realm of Jefferson: speculative and fanciful.


Decency and respect for other's loved ones would in my oppinion not include trying to censor what happened.
09/10/2005 02:22:37 PM · #21
Originally posted by :



"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
-Thomas Jefferson


I think Thomas Jefferson, although a clever politician, bordered on the inept. His stance was to have no stance, his quotes like this one, to straddle the fence, and then jump on at the last moment. If you take the time to read some biographies and Revolutionary era material, it would be almost impossible not to come to the same conclusion. Because if he truly believed what he said above, he would have been an editor or newspaperman. Jefferson's utopic dreams were fits full of fancy and opportunistic delusions.

In regards to other comments here, why can't there be decency and respect for other's loved ones without calling it a full blown conspiracy and bringing up potential outcomes that deal in the realm of Jefferson: speculative and fanciful.
09/10/2005 02:21:39 PM · #22
Originally posted by laurielblack:

I didn't even attack either of you... my news sources were not up for discussion. I just made a general statement. Whether I watch CNN, Fox, or any other channel is my business, as is my political affiliation. I just know if someone posts a link from any news outlet that the Bush-bashers don't like, they're condemned, and CNN has always been one of those. I found it humorous that one was posted and was found to be factual and even dare I say, celebrated.


It was a bit more then a general statement and being you did make it it does in fact open up for discussion your politcal leanings and your primary source of news . Be careful which can of worms you choose to open.
09/10/2005 02:14:14 PM · #23
I didn't even attack either of you... my news sources were not up for discussion. I just made a general statement. Whether I watch CNN, Fox, or any other channel is my business, as is my political affiliation. I just know if someone posts a link from any news outlet that the Bush-bashers don't like, they're condemned, and CNN has always been one of those. I found it humorous that one was posted and was found to be factual and even dare I say, celebrated.
09/10/2005 02:10:50 PM · #24
Originally posted by laurielblack:

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Looks like some good ol' dissent from CNN made the gov face up; U.S. won't ban media from New Orleans searches - CNN filed suit for right to cover search for bodies of Katrina victims


Hmm... I thought CNN was the anti-Christ, along with Fox News and any other news outlet anyone who supports the current administration ever mentions. Nice that they're ok now that they're doing something the Bush-bashing folks like. Figures.


When was the last time you watched CNN? The reason I'm asking is that Republicans from Texas generally stick to a more "Fair and Balanced" news source.

You'd defend him if he got caught screwing the pooch, which I'm afraid isn't to far off this time, metaphorically speaking.
09/10/2005 02:08:36 PM · #25
Originally posted by laurielblack:

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Looks like some good ol' dissent from CNN made the gov face up; U.S. won't ban media from New Orleans searches - CNN filed suit for right to cover search for bodies of Katrina victims


Hmm... I thought CNN was the anti-Christ, along with Fox News and any other news outlet anyone who supports the current administration ever mentions. Nice that they're ok now that they're doing something the Bush-bashing folks like. Figures.


Whats nice is that since Katrina and the horribly neglegent response from the Government, the main stream news in America woke up. Even Fox News has been blasting our gov. And I don't use words like "anti-christ".

Also, why not comment on the ruling instead of bashing me for posting good news?
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