Photojournalists, a fair few of them, please just get over yourself …Written by duckrabbit
People do not hang around to be depressed. The media overexposes us to images of suffering I think, consistently giving us two messages: 1) there is really nothing one person can do to affect these overwhelming problems, and 2) money donated to Africa will be diverted by corrupt governments and aid agencies and never get to the people who need it.
The photographer Trent Nelson has left an interesting comment:
‘Then again, millions dead in the Congo since 97 and the coverage has been almost non-existent, until recent years. The nation of Zimbabwe collapses and journalism there is basically shut down, with foreign correspondents kicked out.
We may be overexposed but serious problems persist.
Once again I comment on a serious topic at duckrabbit with no solution to a serious problem.
I agree its easy to kick out, harder to come up with a solution. However the problem isn’t that there is no coverage of these situations. There’s plenty if you want to find it. The problem is that people aren’t interested in the coverage, and that’s a failure of journalism.
One step is to stop giving out awards to two dimensional black and white pictures of conflict and suffering in Africa. Photographers should stop taking pictures to impress one another and start thinking more about audiences and the stories they are telling. And oh yeah, to go back to the interview I quoted from above, they should take Karen Ande’s advice:
KA: People feel more empowered by images of solutions than of pain. I don’t ignore pain in my images. I think it is very easy to focus on pain because the images themselves are so compelling and they affect you emotionally. But the stories I photograph are bigger than that. Yes people are seriously ill, yes children are orphaned. But those orphans play games, and the seriously ill people sit in the sun and talk with their friends. The people are engaged in living. Pain is not the entire picture.