The New York Post Critique: Pushed on the Subway Track

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Quite an uproar evolved after The New York Post's publication of a photograph, on the front page, showed a man on the subway tracks just moments before his death. The paper's front page read in bold font, "Pushed on the Subway track, this man is about to die, DOOMED," in accompaniment of the photo. The question being "Is this photograph ethical." I say this photo can be either ethical or unethical, depending on how it is used.

If the photograph is used to broadcast the need for a safer subway station it is being used for a greater good and will help more people than it will hurt. However, I see that the purpose of this photograph was to feed the media vultures and sell papers, so I believe it is unethical.

I also don’t like that the photographer is catching all of the flack on this situation. Yes, he took the picture. Yes, he said he was trying to stop the subway. Yes, there were other people in the subway station who did not help. No, we don’t know how far the photographer was from the man on the tracks. We could go through these scenarios all day long, or even for a week, and we wouldn’t get anywhere. The man would still be dead and the paper still sold. The photographer is expected to follow the NPPA Code of Ethics, one of the points being, "Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see" (NPPA, 2012). The photographer may have taken the photo on accident or intentionally, we will never truly know. He may have taken the photo with good intentions and just didn’t control how The New York Post used the photo.

I think that the term "DOOMED" is one that The New York Post uses very lightly. I was searching their website for the original article and typed "DOOMED" into their search, I received 501 results. There were articles stating that...
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