LONDON Love&Hate 愛と憎しみのロンドン

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After I came home yesterday, I started to read the Guardian. When I opened the pages about the war in Iraq, I found some photos were put on the pages.

When I caught the last one, my own protection system tried to close my eyes, but it was late. Parents were piling up the body of their dead infants who were killed by the extreme Islam fanatics.

I do wish the Guardian had not used the photo.


Sharing pictures of corpses on social media isn’t the way to bring a ceasefire

How many pictures of dead children do you need to see before you understand that killing children is wrong? I ask because social media is awash with the blood of innocents. Twitter is full of photos of the murdered children of Gaza. Sometimes carried by screaming fathers, sometimes by blood-soaked women. Some bodies are torn to pieces. One no longer has a head.


Such images of war, of obscenity, of the “reality” of what sophisticated weapons do are everywhere. There is no more privacy. At one time the media would have thought carefully about which images could be made public. Lines are drawn and then crossed but all notions about respect for the dead have been ripped apart by the advent of social media.

I don’t need to see any more images of dead children to want a ceasefire, a political settlement. I don’t need you to tweet them to show me you care. A small corpse is not a symbol for public consumption. It is for some parent somewhere the loss of a precious person. To make these images common devalues the currency of shared humanity. We do not respect those living in awful conflict by disrespecting their dead. Stop.


Graphic content: when photographs of carnage are too upsetting to publish

"I really can't bear to look at that picture for more than a moment, it's just too upsetting." That was the reaction of my colleague, an experienced picture editor, to a photograph of a man kissing his dead child in a Gaza morgue on Tuesday. We were discussing its possible use in the paper. We wanted to show the readers the reality of life – and death – in Gaza but we didn't want to shock or unnecessarily upset them. We tread a fine line and, because each picture is judged on its merits on the day, it is very difficult to have hard and fast rules.

Two headline-grabbing and violent events – the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 in Ukraine and Israel's assault on Gaza – have generated some horrific photographs on a seemingly unprecedented scale. Of this flood of images, there are hundreds that we would not choose for publication because they are either deeply shocking, insensitive to human dignity, would be painful if seen by relatives or friends, or ultimately run the risk of forcing readers to turn away from the story, which would negate the purpose of photojournalism.


In addition to the thousands of photographs supplied by the main wire agencies, such as AP and Reuters, the most prestigious photojournalists' agency, Magnum, has been offering a set of images taken by Jerome Sessini from the MH17 crash site. Sessini certainly didn't hold back and recorded bodies lying in fields where they fell and, in one case, in a room of a local house, having crashed through the roof. This is an astoundingly dark picture. It is basically a still from a horror movie: the person involved has been accorded absolutely no shred of dignity. Magnum was, I think, wrong to offer this picture for sale and indeed followed up the initial email offering the set with another apologising for not warning of the nature of content on offer. The pictures shocked me when I opened the email, but I was shocked again to see them published on as a photo essay. Time prefaced them with the words, "Warning: some of the following images are graphic in nature and might be disturbing to some viewers." Surely that is more of an invitation to the prurient rather than a warning? This has ensured they have travelled around the world on social media, just like the tweeted pictures of dead children from Gaza that Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore wrote about this week.






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