Study 1: The Pychological Dangers of Photojournalism

26 10 2010

Photojournalists who document death, poverty, famine, and other terrors of the world have had resulting psychological problems. According to David Handschuh who was injured while photographing the collapse of the twin towers says that, “human-induced traumatic events… challenges core assumptions people carry in the world about other people, trust, safety, benevolence/malevolence of the world and justice.”
While researching the effects of these psychological issues I found it interesting to see that “avoiding and disliking” the very job of photojournalism is a result of the trauma. Its seems that photojournalists have to find a balance with the job in order to love it. How far can you go enjoying it before it completely flip-flops into hatred. It is very paradoxical.
In the article I was reading I found a quote that compared photojournalists or news reporters to emergency workers, “although they do not save the victims, they serve as a conduit between the public and the event.” I never thought of photojournalism like this before. Do photojournalist really have that importance and significance to society? While they don’t directly save lives they warn people of how the real world works and the dangers involved in it. They put the health of their mind at risk so that people can have awareness.
The article said that most photographers don’t think about this when they choose their profession. They understand the “physical dangers [but] fewer are warned about the potential psychological dangers.”
It is understandable that this image could disturb one’s mind, especially if you were the one capturing it.

[to learn more and to help guide me in my studies the link to the article i read is


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3 responses

26 10 2010
Mister Fischer

This makes sense to me. P-journalists work to bring things to our attention, things that we might overlook otherwise. Their pictures draw our eye in a way that pure text does not. The world reacts when we see pictures. Think: Darfur, for example.

Have you decided on a topic for your I-search research yet?

5 11 2010
Corrina

This reminds of your first post about the guy who committed suicide. I honestly would have a very tough time documenting so many horrid events and subjects. Like you said, i can see how being subjected to capturing tragedies through film would mess with your mind and emotions

8 11 2010
jacquelinemerrill

I remember the first time I saw that images of that even though I was so young at the time. That goes to show how long images can stay with you.

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