Are photographers as guilty as the party being photographed?

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Screen capture: content copyright Sheffield Papers

The public perception of the media and “press” in particular has been diminishing or on a low level for some years now, but could this be a new low?

The comments section on my local newspaper’s website (The Sheffield Star) always seem to insight heated discussions (particularly across the more “patriotic” or “political” subject matter) from it’s readers.

A recent story stemming from a surfaced image which depicted a student urinating on a local war memorial, produced some predictable reactions:

Good God”, “What a disgrace!”, “how disrespectfull can u get??”,  “Kick him out of Uni, he is a disgrace.

But the following struck a cord:

“Whichever low-life took the photograph, kick them out too as no doubt they thought it highly amusing and had a ‘good laugh’ about it, probably ‘goading’ him on.”

woodseats neil

I know that the public find it hard to put their trust into images and reports (thanks to “entertainment” styled news and the like). But to automatically presume that someone who took a photograph was on the side of the wrong doer, or has created some wrong doing themselves, is something I can’t quite fathom.

Of course the possibility existed in my mind that it was a friend of the party who took the picture, but I didn’t rule out the possibility of a bystanders wanting to document the wrong doing…. the citizen journalists of our world.

But this doesn’t seem to be how the minds of the general public view things. So how are news photographers viewed?

You can read the article mentioned and the reader reactions over on the star’s website.

By: James Dodd