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Poll: Should graphic pictures of death/war be shown on the news?

Absolutely not - it's insulting 4 (6%)
Absolutely yes - it's our responsibility to be informed 31 (50%)
Only if it's tastefully done 18 (29%)
Allow me to explain my more nuanced answer 9 (15%)
   Discussion: Should graphic pictures of death/war be shown on the news?
Nik Chaikin · 16 years ago
While I do want to be informed I feel that there is a way things should be presented. Not that I believe the news should be prohibited from being "to graphic".
Abby I'm a civilian yay! · 16 years ago
If people are looking at tasteful pictures they don't get the true impact of the situation. They don't show you the peoples brains from the VBIEDs or the random limbs that fly after an IED. People need to see that so they can grasp the enormity of the situation from their living rooms, its up to the taxpayers and the voters if we go to war.
100% dainty! Back · 16 years ago
yeah. . . .I think you have a point there. I thought of this question right after the tsunami, because they showed a lot of dead bodies floating in the ocean, and just really graphic pictures in general. My mom said that that was ignorant, because the families of those people could be watching. I can see her point, but I think that it is important for us to be exposed to certain horrors, so (in the case of the tsunami) we fully understand the impact and know how badly our aid is needed. Or (in the case of war) we may be moved to rethink our support. It wasn't until the pictures of napalmed children were shown that the mainstream culture really started doubting the war in Vietnam. Similarly the Abu Ghraib pictures definitely made a lot of people doubt the U.S.'s role as "welcomed liberators" of the Iraqis.

Here is my hesitation though. I am not completely trusting of the corporate media. They sensationalize almost everything they report. I think that pictures should be shown, but not always in the way that CNN presents them, (you know, with Beyonce's "bootylicious" remarks running underneath in the ticker). There is still the principle that "if it bleeds, it leads" in the news. So horrific stories or pictures are not reported to us out of responsibility, but out of a desire for more spectacle.
George E. Nowik Back · 16 years ago

death, widescale or small, should be approached with a certain kind of reverence.  not omission.

that being said, i fully agree about the "bootylicious" ticker running under wide-scale disaster footage.

i believe firmly that it is beyond irresponsible to not show people for their own eyes just how devestating a natural disaster, an act of war, genocidal slaughter, or any one of similar items from an endless and growing list can be.  how can we start teaching people and younger generations (you know, the ones who are going to pick our nursing homes) how to revere and respect life if they don't -truly- recognize just how easy it is for it to be taken away?  how can we ask a populace to really and truly comprehend disaster if they only read about it in a few short paragraphs right next to an article about jay leno's foot fetish or bill gates latest press conference?

being blissfully ignorant about the rest of the world is an excellent way to encourage and enforce isolationism.  i'm a hermit by nature (ask any one who knows me locally (: ) but i still strongly think that it's vital for the world to get closer and to really understand the impact of these things.  we can't do much about natural disasters.  when our planet chooses to wipe out a population, all we can do is mourn.  i'll never know when it started being ok for mankind to help out.

 -= george =-

Kris 'engaged' Bedient Back · 16 years ago
Jay Leno has a foot fetish?
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
It is one one of those things that actually requires judgement not a knee jerk reaction. You do need some graphic pictures to truely convey a sense of what is happening. ON the other hand you don't need to be shown them every day anymore than we need to see graphic pictures of people killed in car accidents and fires that happen every day here. They should be shown to inform not for shock value.
Josh Woodward Back · 16 years ago
You hit the nail on the head. I'm so used to hearing about suicide bombers and other attacks that my brain almost tunes it out. Showing footage is the only way to really capture my attention anymore. I think it has to be in moderation and in proportion to the badness of what's happening, but so many of the warmongers don't really think about what's going on.
Beth Back · 16 years ago

RIght. I had to vote yes, because I thought back to the girl in one of my classes who insisted "it really isn't that bad over there [in Iraq]" and how she apparently just can't understand the gravity of the situation.

Bender Back · 16 years ago
my friend is in the reserves and he's home for a while. during his first tour, he bought a digital camera and took pictures.

I can never forget the things I saw.

what's the army's stance on these photos/the publication thereof?
Abby I'm a civilian yay! Back · 16 years ago
Actually I heard that Rumsfeld said he really regretted letting troops come into combat with digital cameras. We were told that we need to be more tasteful about what we email home to the family. They haven't taken any steps really to prohibit it though.
Doktor Pepski, kommie · 16 years ago
I fell it is important to show what your leaders have gotten us into. You do not understand the devestation just sitting down unless it is really brought to the forefront and in yer face.
Starfox · 16 years ago
If more people saw what the gritty reality of war is really like, they would be less inclined to support a war unless it was really necessary.

One of the things that shocked me when I read about it was that while the Iraq war has been one of the smallest death tolls ever for a US force, the number of maimings and woundings is pretty high by comparsion (i.e. the ratio of dead to wounded). One reporter reported in graphic detail about how a couple of the soldiers in his unit survived a car bomb, but lost limbs. One will never walk again, as he had his leg amputated below the knee and the other has sharpnel imbedded in it and they can't get it out, so he can't walk on it without alot of pain. The other one had his left hand mangled, and lost most of the right side of his face.

Sure, they aren't fatalities, but could you imagine being next to those guys when those wounds happened? Having to drag your buddy away who had both legs mangled?

Ugh. Yah. War is hell, which is why it shouldn't be approached lightly. I get annoyed when people say "we should bomb them back to the stone age" or "we should go over there and kick their assess". I generally find those people really mean "other people should go over there and kick their assess", not themselves. It's easy to be brave with other people's lives.

But now I've written too much..../ramble.
100% dainty! Back · 16 years ago
"I generally find those people really mean "other people should go over there and kick their assess", not themselves. It's easy to be brave with other people's lives. "

Yah, I feel the same way. I also feel like that's what the President does a lot. He keeps saying "We must go over there," and "We must fight," when in reality, he will never have to fight in Iraq and neither will his family.

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