Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Should we be watching?
Cassandra Jardine reports in today's Telegraph that 'images force change' in a fantastic piece in the Comment section, in light of the YouTube footage of the death of Neda Soltan
'The film lasts only 40 seconds, but it is enough to affect world opinion... In years to come, the bloodied face of Neda - already called Angel of Freedom - will be the image that lingers of the Iran uprising, just as the naked napalmed girl running down the the road has come to encapsulate the Vietnam war...'
But these images are our modern version of of religious icons, with the eyes of the victim invariably looking heavenwards for deliverance as martyrs did in old master paintings
A painting does not purport to represent reality, but photographs and films do
Although they can be manipulated, like Robert Capa's faked 'The Fallen Soldier', and the sacked Reuters Middle East Chief photographer for his handling of Adnan Hajj's doctored images of the Israeli bombing of Beirut
The footage of Neda's death certainly has a ring of truth about it, and feels like something we can trust
Generally, however, British media stay clear of such shocking images, but in the YouTube age, this principle is being eroded
Surely the question now 'is this journalism or voyeurism?'
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
HMS Poseidon, which sank north of the British naval base Weihai in 1931 following a collision with a Chinese merchant boat, has been in the news lately as China has been accused of secretly salvaging the sunken submarine with the remains of 18 crewmen on board
But look at these pages, the first a fantastic diagrammatic explainer showing what and how the crew could have escaped, of course some did. This was published in the Illustrated London News on July 18
The second from the Daily Herald on Wednesday June 10. The the collision making the front page splash, which included a single column locator map
A colleague Keith Hoggins, pointed these out while he researching the story for the Daily Telegraph
We all remember great illustrations from our childhood
Most based on 'boys toys' and military craft
Almost 80 years these graphics would still be publishable in our press
They are content driven, and in my view 'content' is all, whether visual or the written word
Sunday, 7 June 2009
The editor on...
Newspapers face considerable challenges as the global economic collapse robs us of advertising revenues and the emergence of vibrant digital media robs us of readers. There isn't an editor in Britain, Europe or America who hasn't spent considerable time over the last few years wrestling with these issues. It can mean having to consider reductions in marketing spend, slimmer editorial resources and so on.
It sounds difficult, but if you're Eynulla Fatullayev, you'd relish working in a journalistic environment where these were the toughest challenges you faced. Because Fatullayev's problems are of a different order altogether
It puts wrestling with budget cuts into perspective
Since Amnesty first highlighted his case, more than 14,000 people from across the world have written letters of support to Fatullayev. To read more about their campaign of support, go to http://tinyurl.com/mrb5de