“In addition to concealing the corpse, staff photographers frame the corpse in the image’s far distance – at a distance far enough to disguise the presence of death.” page 56
Bring Out Your Dead
It have never occurred to me that when I’m looking at a picture either in newspaper, on a news station, or on an on-line new site that the images are perhaps less than truthful, or less than the complete story. When it comes to the subject of death in news there always seems to be a want for information, and in a society that is more visually driven than ever before, one might wonder why not show the whole picture? Why “disguise the presence of death” at all? With the abundance of videogame violence and films and television shows showing more, and more violence like that of The Walking Dead, and even the new Iron Man 3, what’s the harm?
The harm is that real violence and death is truly disturbing on a psychological level that can not be compared to make-believe stories. I remember watching the history channel with my dad, we were watching one of the many shows about World War 2 when suddenly on the screen appeared real footage of a dead soldier who looked as though he’d been ripped in half. My reaction was total shock, and immediate disgust. My dad changed the channel very quickly because of how much it freaked me out. What I kept trying to figure out after that was “why was it so bad?” I watch lots of gory films and TV shows, I’ve never really had a problem with violent images in shows, so why is this one so different? It is different because it is real.
In reality, no one wants to see the events that take place in a film such as SAW, and more importantly to the sellers of news itself, is that no one wants to buy it. What sells better than the photo that shows you everything, is a photo that shows only half of the truth, selling the idea of death rather than the image of it.