Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Photographic Angle

Erin Franczak

Through technology, journalism is branching out and developing new ways to communicate with the reader. But some forms of technology are taking a toll on the ethics of journalism. This stems from the concept of where we, as readers and journalists, draw the line.

The readings for today mainly focused on one main form of technology; photos. This led to the first discussion point. Digital Editing. This is the process of remaking photos to intensify or omit other parts. Where do we draw the line? When does a photo become too unreal?

There are many different faces of digital editing. The example from the reading is a sheep being digitally remade. Christine Haughney, author of the article, stated that her boss wanted a normally dirty and dark colored sheep to look as white as a cartoon. There are also examples of skies being brightened. I think that when it comes to objects, editing can be used in moderation and only if the message of the photo stays the same.

An example is the Burger King Hamburger. They want to make it look more appetizing, but the message is still there.

But the most prevalent examples of digital editing comes from models, actors, and singers. They almost look too perfect, at times. I personally think that this is too extreme. No human is perfect, and to give girls such high standards for beauty is something from a horror film. This is why so many teens and young adults have self-confidence issues and eating disorders. They idolize celebs and want to be like them. So, we need more celebs willing to endorse positive self-image and instead of focusing on looks, instead focus on kindness and charity. If you ever feel like you aren't beautiful enough, click here.

I think the most frustrating thing about this concept is the fact that celebrities are willing to abide by the concept of digital editing. In the article, a photographer was asked to photograph someone, and his boss suggested not editing out the braces, so the actor has not since used that photographer. But, the lucky news is that not all celebs endorse the concept of photoshop. The Huffington Post posted an article that targeted celebrities who dislike digital editing. To view it, click here.

Another type of photo problem sweeping the nation is when photos too graphic. I think the easy answer is when you can show a child and it doesn't traumatize them. The problem is these photos sometimes need to be shared and what media outlets should they be used on?

Sometimes people can remain blissfully aware of what's going on around them for a long time. Sometimes one picture can snap them out of that fog. The question is when? When and where is it appropriate to show a child body washed ashore. This traumatizing picture shows a refugee boy trying to find his home. That's enough to spread awareness for a problem. These images almost need to be shown. But where?

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