Conflict Reportage ???

I am not someone who disagrees with the existence and fundamentals of ‘conflict reportage/conflict photography’. I in fact now, truly believe in James Nachtwey’s theory of ‘war photography’ being an antidote to war. But, that’s because I only saw the documentary about him – ‘War Photographer’. What you see there and I would like to assume in most of Jim Nachtwey’s work is human distress – images of the survivors of conflicts or the families of the deceased … What you don’t see is flowing streams of blood, lifeless bloody bodies, injured people rushing / being rushed towards help …

I am not someone who has studied journalism herself and knows the fundamentals and ideals, the rules and regulations of this noble career herself …

I am someone who out of a sheer sense of humanity, which I was naturally born with and not necessarily can take credit for, knows its wrong to show such images of gore, blood, and extreme distress in TV and print media.

An hour and a half into the blasts in Delhi this evening and I have seen the visuals of an unconscious woman, head covered in blood, being whisked away to medical assistance in the least appreciable way possible. Wait … I have not only seen these visuals … I have seen them repeatedly on the leading news channels of the nation.

I am someone who knows someone personally who decades ago was witness to a conflict situation and saw a person being killed … that someone has not since been herself, is prone to regular bouts of depression and needs constant medical attention. My immediate concern on seeing these images is that she is somehow kept away from TV and newspapers for at least the next couple of days …

I am someone who was once closely associated with according to me the best media house in all of India … a media house I no longer work with … a media house that today like all others is running these images of dead and injured people in an endless loop.

I am someone who today, at 8 pm, 13 Sept 2008 has lost all faith in the Indian media – all of it.

Instead of being an antidote to this ‘conflict situation’, the Indian Media today, like many times before, is rubbing salt in the herida abierta (open wound).

In today’s scenario, it almost seems that since the blasts weren’t that high intensity and there isn’t large-scale destruction to be seen, the media is showing images of dead and injured people to create an effect of a heightened conflict.

Where are their ethics? How much lower will they stoop? How many more open wounds will they create?

What is the solution to all of this? I believe it is reminding these very “top channels” of their ethics which they seem to have completely obliterated. I personally implore them … to stop creating these second-birth like conflicts minutes after an area, a state is hit with such distress …

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