Reading Response: The Boston Photographs
Nora Ephron in her essay “The Boston Photographs” asserts that photojournalism is more powerful than written journalism. A photo can portray vivid information. A photo gives information that can be understood differently by different people. A photo speaks for itself, that’s what Ephron is trying to assert through her essay.
In the essay she gives a detailed explanation on the controversy raised by the people upon the picture printed in the newspaper on the rescue mission that failed. A lady, Diana Bryant and her child fell off the terrace during a fire rescue. Miss Bryant died and her child was saved as she fell on the lady’s body and was safe. During her fall, photographer for Boston Herald American, Stanley Forman took pictures which were printed by the leading newspapers in the country. After seeing the pictures in the newspaper there was a wildfire amongst the people on the insensitive nature of the editors and newspapers that they snapped these pictures. Many editors being in favor of cruelty refused to print the photos in their newspapers. Amongst the editors, one was Charles Seib, currently the ombudsman of the Post’s.
Seib raises the discussion that, as an editor he wouldn’t mind to print the photo but as a reader he felt revolted too. His idea of thought was that people revolted upon seeing the picture as we are prejudiced and only want those photos which do not show the real news but rather show something else off topic. To assert on his point he gives examples of how after accidents, mangled cars are shown rather than the state of people, in fact people die in accidents. He also talks about the Vietnam War where editors were reluctant to print pictures showing atrocity, the main reason of the War. Even the tragedy of 9/11, where hundreds of people died, the photographs of dead people was asked not to be printed; instead photos of the World Trade were printed, where... [continues]
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