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09/07/2005 11:44:14 AM · #26
Well said Laurie. Many people are still wondering about friends and family - where they are, if they are alive, if they are in another shelter somewhere. What a horrible way to get the answer - via an image of that friend or relative being snagged out of the water.

I think we need a little faith in accountability of the people doing the recovery work. Has society really reached that low of a point that bodies will be just "swept under the rug" (or bulldozed over)? I don't think so. Attempts at identification will take place. Look what they did at the WTC to identify remains (DNA, etc...). If the officials themselves were doing the work - maybe...if the recovery teams consisted of one person - maybe, but between professionalism, peer pressure, and basic human values, recovery of those lost to Katrina will be as dignified as the situation allows.

Do I think the treatment of the journalists' was fair - no.
Do I think images of the dead need to be broadcast - no.

My 2 cents.

Originally posted by laurielblack:

I cannot accept any argument FOR allowing pictures of the dead (from Katrina, or any other catastrophy, including war) to be published or posted...these people have been through enough trauma already. Seeing their dead children or parents or other loved ones on TV or in the paper will serve no purpose but to make them relive the trauma yet again, and to satisfy the morbid curiosity of people who don't have scruples of their own. Let the dead rest in peace, and let the living gather up what little remains of their sanity and lives to begin moving forward.

The victims, and most especially the children, will relive the horror over and over again in their own minds. I don't think journalists need to add to that.

09/07/2005 11:46:24 AM · #27
Originally posted by louddog:

Photos of the dead already have been taken and will be taken to document the disaster. The problem is, if you allow all the press to follow the crews around retriving bodys it's going to be a swarm of gore hunters, not to mention they get in the way.

I say let them rest in peace.


Not only will they become "gore hunters" and get in the way, would you like to find out that your missing husband/wife/child/parent was dead by seeing their bloated and decaying corpse on the evening news? Or would you rather be discreetly notified and not have to deal with the extra shock of having your personal tragedy used as a video bite on national news?

*edit - glad2badad is too fast!

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 11:47:20.
09/07/2005 11:48:02 AM · #28
In my opinion, it's less about dignity of the dead than allowing the American people to see the magnitude of the disaster, with many dead due soley to the incompetence of FEMA and the Federal Govt in general.
09/07/2005 11:48:11 AM · #29
Thinking that something is horrible or outrageous or grotesque and shouldn't be photographed for that reason is so so so wrong.

Who hasn't seen the rows upon rows of stacked skulls from the genocide in Rwanda?

That is grotesque, but a needed reminder of what should never be allowed to happen...but continuously does.
09/07/2005 11:48:17 AM · #30
Laurie, I have to disagree with you. The people that suffered through a catastrophy will not settle down and go on with their lives just like that. That's true even less with the human-initiated or human-assissted tragedies such as the war, or inadequate response to natural tragedy. I've met may people that suffered during the war, and quite opposite, they consider it a shame and political cowardness the fact that the media stopped airing images of the war crimes and atrocities...
But that's in another country... I haven't seen too many images either in the papers or on TV of EVERYDAY atrocities committed throughout the world. Remember this one?Vietnam
Was this all over the media in the US? I do not remember as I was not born at the time. But, the people here are too shielded from the real world.
Moodville, once we get desensitized to the images of dead people, we do not deserve to watch anything any more. The assumption that we will care less about life if we see death is a philosophical fallacy to me. How can you otherwise discuss (violent and non-natural) death if you never get to see one?

In attempt to keep this a photography discussion, not a rant.
-Serge
09/07/2005 11:50:04 AM · #31
Originally posted by saracat:

Not only will they become "gore hunters" and get in the way, would you like to find out that your missing husband/wife/child/parent was dead by seeing their bloated and decaying corpse on the evening news? Or would you rather be discreetly notified and not have to deal with the extra shock of having your personal tragedy used as a video bite on national news?


The issue of "allowed to photograph" and "allowed to broadcast" are two completely distinct points...

One could argue for a moratorium on broadcast material including dead bodies until all have been notified or something like that, but to argue that no photographs should be allowed to be taken shows a lack of understanding of the role of press photographers...not 'gore hunters'.
09/07/2005 11:54:52 AM · #32
Originally posted by louddog:



I say let them rest in peace.


I think they have to be intered first. Right now they're rotting in the streets.

Anyway I think this is a moot point, beyond the fact that they are trying to censor this catastrophe. There are between 5-10,000 residents still in the city, there are journalists who have hung back, local law enforcement, private volunteers, firefighters, mechanics, engineers, medical personnel and a host of other people throughout the city and surrounding areas that are not directly supervised by FEMA. How many of these people do you think brought a camera?
09/07/2005 11:56:37 AM · #33
I believe all the events experienced through out the world should be documented by our media were possible, but I would agree with a restraint to publish the more grotesque image's while bodies could be identified and next of kin informed out of respect for both the living and the dead.
Although obviously there would have to be a limit to how long this reason would be used as in many instances a large number of victims remain unidentified, but clearly if they are unidentified then relatives or friends would not be able to identify them from film or picture.
09/07/2005 12:01:38 PM · #34
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Originally posted by louddog:

Originally posted by Olyuzi:

The Bush administration doesn't allow pictures of coffins returning from Iraq with US soldiers. There are no faces to be recognized, so there is no reason other than politics and media control for this policy. The corpses of bodies down in the NOLA region would most likely be unrecognizable as well after floating in water for a week with high temperatures. They are trying to minimize the political fallout.


I believe this rule was in place before Bush took office?


No, it was never. When the dead troops came back from Somolia the coffins were shown coming off the plane. I guess when a change such as has occured takes place many people grow so used to it that they figure it has always been that way.


Who was president in November of 2000?
09/07/2005 12:05:06 PM · #35
Originally posted by PeterC:

... but clearly if they are unidentified then relatives or friends would not be able to identify them from film or picture.


I don't think ID will be possible from a photo taken today. These people have been floating in the water or baking in the 90 degree sun for a week and a half. Between the blow flies and the aligators I doubt there is much to identify.

Note: There probably a few thousand dogs that were left behind still roaming the city, none of which have seen dog food in 10 days.

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 12:07:55.
09/07/2005 12:06:57 PM · #36
Originally posted by louddog:


Who was president in November of 2000?


Point?
09/07/2005 12:08:45 PM · #37
As a "photographer" I would want to the ability to document. I know i would be scrupulous with the pics, but unfortunately, not everyone is, and I am sure there are photogs out there who would use it as a "drama" tool.

As a "family member" (I'm not, but if I were) I would not want my loved ones picture flashed across the 6 o'clock news as a dead, rotting corpse, no matter how "documentary" it was, even if I already knew they were dead.

As a "rescuer" (again, I'm not, but if I were) my job is gruesome and painful enough. I really don't do this for fun. The last thing I want/need is someone taking pictures. (I do sincerely hope they are not banning them just to cover their butt).
09/07/2005 12:09:45 PM · #38
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Originally posted by louddog:


Who was president in November of 2000?


Point?


From what I can find on google, that is when the rule of photographing coffins was put in place.
09/07/2005 12:09:48 PM · #39
PR control. Nothing less, nothing more.
09/07/2005 12:17:14 PM · #40
And FYI, I was on search and rescue for a number of years and I have been involved in recovering several bodies and body parts. We never let the press photograph or film the remains and we were not allowed to photograph them either. It was never even a question. The police photographer took the photos needed for the file and that was it. I assure you that this rule was not in place so we could do disrespectful things to the body.

This is not a new rule and it was not imposed by the Bush administration so they could cover up their wrongs.
09/07/2005 12:25:43 PM · #41
Is it really helpfull to all us as a group, in dealing with this tragic natural disaster, for some to try to twist what is happening to fit their own political agenda? I find that to be as distasteful as press photographers photographing dead bodies.
09/07/2005 12:27:30 PM · #42
Originally posted by louddog:

And FYI, I was on search and rescue for a number of years and I have been involved in recovering several bodies and body parts. We never let the press photograph or film the remains and we were not allowed to photograph them either. It was never even a question. The police photographer took the photos needed for the file and that was it. I assure you that this rule was not in place so we could do disrespectful things to the body.

This is not a new rule and it was not imposed by the Bush administration so they could cover up their wrongs.


I could care less whose administration it was, we are not talking about photographing two kids in a capsized boat or an avalanche victim. This is about a mass catastrophe with perhaps as many as ten thousand dead from the last Iíve heard.

This is also about more then a few cases of criminal negligence. Or at least it should be

How come I didn't hear all these objections and there was no moratorium in images of dead bodies after the tsunami earlier this year?
09/07/2005 12:37:04 PM · #43
Exactly as nsbca7 says.

And theyre not only not allowed to photograph the deceased. Theyre plain not allowed to BE there.

No transparacy whatsoever.
09/07/2005 12:37:58 PM · #44
Originally posted by coolhar:

I find that to be as distasteful as press photographers photographing dead bodies.


How is that distasteful in and of itself? Sure, it can be done with no regard for dignity but it can also be done with compassion.

Is this all because it's in your own back f'ing yard for once, people? If that's the case, then realize how big your backyard actually is...and begin to see all the awful crap that's always been back there.

Why does nobody object to the Tsunami images, as Martin pointed out...or the images of skulls lined up from Rwanda...or of victims of famine in Sudan...or of violence in Panama or point blank shootings in Viet Nam?

Do you guys ever look at photos that actually mean something? That have actually made a difference in this world?

Edit: Just realized this thread isn't in the rant section yet, so if my post is the one to push it over the line...please just delete my comments rather than moving it to rant. I kind of give up...for a few minutes, anyway.

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 12:40:01.
09/07/2005 12:52:48 PM · #45
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Originally posted by louddog:

And FYI, I was on search and rescue for a number of years and I have been involved in recovering several bodies and body parts. We never let the press photograph or film the remains and we were not allowed to photograph them either. It was never even a question. The police photographer took the photos needed for the file and that was it. I assure you that this rule was not in place so we could do disrespectful things to the body.

This is not a new rule and it was not imposed by the Bush administration so they could cover up their wrongs.


I could care less whose administration it was, we are not talking about photographing two kids in a capsized boat or an avalanche victim. This is about a mass catastrophe with perhaps as many as ten thousand dead from the last Iíve heard.

This is also about more then a few cases of criminal negligence. Or at least it should be

How come I didn't hear all these objections and there was no moratorium in images of dead bodies after the tsunami earlier this year?


Read your original post again, and please link to the news source so we can read the rest of the article. No one banned photography of bodys. They said they don't "want" people shooting the remains. That is different then "can't" shoot the remains.
Also, no crap, they don't want photographers on the rescue boats. They get in the way and take up space.

I've seen plenty of photos of bodys from NO on TV, the internet and in the paper. There is no ban.
09/07/2005 01:04:58 PM · #46
If this were just a single death and nothing signifant to mankind then I would be inclined to a point that there is not much of a reason for the pictures, but on this being somthing that is getting global media and people around the world and will have a significant impact on the region, recording all aspects of the devistation is crutial for lessons in history and for humanity to not document it and only give numbers and stats dehumanizes the situation and makes the loss less tangable. Any form of censorship should not be tolerated.

Another point that needs to be made is yes the bodies have been there for several days without being recovered. Dont blame the rescuers for this. When you in a boat trying to find the living you dont want to be picking corpses up and moving them in the same boat, While it sounds horrid because it is...in this situation the living must come first because you cannot help the dead it is too late for them, also corpses can be host to all sorts of nasty bacteria and molds ect.. they sould not be handled or taken lightly, and should be kept from the survivors to help keep from spreading deisease.
09/07/2005 01:05:18 PM · #47
I just want to to add one thing. I undertand to the respect issue. However, this is American History and it should be documentmented as such. But, to be archived only and not for public use for any right wing agenda. A photo is no more than telling a story through imagery, as to journals that people have written through out our history. See: "Reading the American Past" 2nd Edition, vol. 1 to 1877 by Michael P. Johnson. Plublisher: Bedford/St. Martin ©2002.

In this book is a collection of documents from our American Past.....our ups and downs. Unlike slavery, it was one of our darkest hours. There is truth to the words in one letter from a slave and how they were treated. These document fore tell a story in which have changed our society over a slow amounts of time. Don't let a photo become a blockade to tell a true story how life was in this time in History. Again, our Goverment appears to lack in handleing this horrable storm and it's outcome (at first). The people of the free world and future generations need these documents and dairies. Just like the diary of the social worker that was posted on here too. One day, we will have and need these documentations to look back on and use to change our world for the good of Man and Women. Let's not hide our eyes from what is real and just.


09/07/2005 03:31:46 PM · #48
Originally posted by kirbic:

I agree with the position that if it is not documented, it basically did not happen. There is no way that they shoudl censor the news photogs.
Of course the media are to blame in some respects for this attitude, with the lack of scruples as to what they wil air.


And you can show 'em the most gruesome physical evidence and to this day (speaking of the Holocaust), there are still jerks who will say it never happened. Go figure ...
09/07/2005 04:02:04 PM · #49
Many people still do not know if their loved ones survived or not. Does anyone really think having them find out by seeing their loved ones' bloated and decaying bodies being pulled out of the putrid waters on an 'exclusive' news report is the right way for them to find out? Have some respect for the families.
09/07/2005 04:50:45 PM · #50
Originally posted by vonautsch:

Many people still do not know if their loved ones survived or not. Does anyone really think having them find out by seeing their loved ones' bloated and decaying bodies being pulled out of the putrid waters on an 'exclusive' news report is the right way for them to find out? Have some respect for the families.


Your point is moot. The only way to identify any of these bodies at this point is through forensic science.

I guess it sounds easy for people in places like Ohio and NY to sit back and see this and say "Oh, how awful" and change the station, but for those of us who live along the Gulf Coast things all seem a little closer. We want to know what happened so that next time, and there will be a next time, it doesn't happen to us.

As far as friends go, the last time I talked to Jennifer was at 7:30 am, last monday morning during the storm. I got two sentences out of her before the connection was dropped: "New Orleans is OK. We're safe."

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 16:53:14.
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