Look up photographs of emergencies. Are these pictures objective? Can pictures ever be objective? 

The definition of Objectivity is “Objectivity is a noun that means a lack of bias, judgment, or prejudice. Maintaining one’s objectivity is the most important job of a judge”. Photograph that feature in news stories can be objective. For example the photographer may have had a spilt second to take the photo, in order to capture the moment. The photographer is just photographing what they see. A photo can objective when the photographer doesn’t stage or position the people in the photo to get the picture they want, instead they just photograph as it happens. With emergency news stories, the event may happen very quickly, so there is simply no time to show bias, or judgment in the photo. One question to ask is how can you show bias when taking a photo in a fast moving situation, you just take the photos. On the other hand, photographs can be bias, so cannot be objective. There is always the chance that the photographer is being unintentially bias or judgmental. The photographer chooses what to photograph, this shows a level of bias, meaning the viewer is not getting the whole picture. The photographer can also choose to photography a certain side of what is happening, ignoring what is happening in another angle. News stories tend to try and shock or provoke emotion in the viewer, the same can be said of the photographs that accompany the stories, and this shows the lack of objectivity. The images we see as part of the news stories have been chosen out of hundreds of other photos, what made them choose the final images, what was in the other rejected images. This shows a clear lack of objectivity in photographs of news items.

Lockerbie Bombings9:11Rubble 9:11Stairs 9:11FireMen 9:11Flag 9:11Kings Cross Fire7:7

BBC. (2005) Bomb attacks on London. BBC. [Online] Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/7/newsid_4942000/4942238.stm [Accessed: 13th of October 2015]

BBC. 1987: King’s Cross station fire ‘kills 27. BBC. [Online] Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/18/newsid_2519000/2519675.stm [Accessed: 13th of October 2015]

BBC. 2001: US rocked by day of terror. BBC. [Online] Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/11/newsid_2514000/2514627.stm [Accessed: 13th of October 2015]

Sharwood, A. (2015) 30 pictures of 9/11 that show you why you should never forget. NewsAU. [Online] Available from: http://www.news.com.au/world/pictures-of-911-that-show-you-why-you-should-never-forget/story-fndir2ev-1226717187453 [Accessed: 13th of October 2015]

The Telegraph. (2014) Lockerbie bombing: are these the men who really brought down Pan Am 103? The Telegraph. [Online] Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10688179/Lockerbie-bombing-are-these-the-men-who-really-brought-down-Pan-Am-103.html [Accessed: 13th of October]

Vocabulary. Objectivity. [Online]. Available from: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/objectivity [Accessed: 10th October 2015].


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