December 13, 2007

War Images

During class, we discussed 9/11 images and how sensitive the media has been when publishing pictures of the traumatic event. We also discussed how as Americans, we have a right to know what is going on in this country and we should not be shaded or guarded from any information that affects our lives. However, clearly, when showing images of death, the media must first be concerned with the family and/or friends of the body being shown. Most close-up images of dead bodies are not blasted across newspapers or television screens. However, do you agree that when it comes to war, we should be shown images that may be hard to swallow? Perhaps we do not need a dead body thrown in our faces, but footage of the war and shootings and bombings and death occuring from afar should be shown to our public. Americans are terrific at pretending things do not happen. We are infamous for "remembering to forget". Has the war we are currently in become another instance of the Holocaust where once its OVER we will be told what happened and then act out in shock and disbelief that we had no clue what really took place? I think our nation needs to demand to be told details of what is occurring over seas where our men and women are giving their lives for us as we sit in our daily routines sometimes without a thought throughou the day to them. America needs to stop ignoring the facts and start demanding access to them. I dont believe that images and footage should just be thrown into our laps but I do think that a well-planned Communication process should be taken place during this war that keeps America in-the-know about the good and bad of this war. And if what we are experiencing IS the Communications plan, then we need a better one.

2 comments:

Meg said...

this has been an ongoing discussion all year (on the blog) and in class. Where do we draw the line to what we see, what are our moral obligations, what is the media's role and so forth. I don't know if a right or wrong answer exists. It is so subjective. Obviously by my reaction in class, I am in the "dark" as far as what is going on in Iraq...however, when preparing for our last class leadership presentation, I was reading the soldier's story, and he was describing some pretty horrific things himself, as far as what they do to the american soldiers..may we find answers soon...

Dan said...

Not to answer your question in the most vague way Meg, but I think each of us draws the line in some way, shape or form. I mean, look at the transitions in media over the past 50 years. It has been stated that many people were up in arms about the word "damn" being in Gone with the Wind...we've come a long way since then.

So back to your question, I think each of us plays in equal part in drawing the line as our continued acceptance of fowl language and unpleasant imagery pushes the line along as little bit more.

In the case of the war right now, perhaps we haven't come to that level of acceptance. Perhaps what we all need are some more graphic prison photos or another SuperBowl halftime snafu to get us to that point.

And I really hope this makes sense...