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by on December 11, 2013

The other day I remembered an article I read in the Lens Blog of the NYT about shooting in war zones, and the kind of photographers who are going out there.

While our class discussed reporting, not photography, in war zones and whether or not we would and why, photography deals with many of the same ethical issues. This piece, however, was geared more towards who should be out there reporting. Some people thought that novices or inexperienced photographers shouldn’t throw themselves into a war situation that they know nothing about, because not only does it endanger their lives, but those around them. Some even complained about those photographers getting into their shots, which I thought was selfish (but I’d be annoying if my photograph was ruined by some kid running around with a camera).

I wasn’t sure I agreed with the older photographers who didn’t want these young photographers out there. While safety is obviously a concern -they cited many of the younger set running around without proper protective gear – is it fair to say that they should not be allowed to go, especially if they are going of their own accord?

This reminds me of bloggers vs. reporters. Who is to say who can write news. Are we allowed to prevent someone from covering a story (in whatever medium) if  we think they aren’t experienced enough? I think that having the young photographers go out there to Libya, or Syria, or anywhere where it isn’t safe, works as a wake up call for those who aren’t prepared. If they think they can handle it, then shouldn’t they be allowed to risk their lives to do so? It may be against their better judgement, but a story is a story, and the more angles the better. Even if it is from an iPhone camera.



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