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re: Warning Graphic Content

(15 Posts)
ATisketATasket Tue 03-Feb-15 09:52:30

Hello, [almost] first time poster here, thought I would contribute to posts rather than start one for a while, whilst I settle in, but hey, ho here I am, diving in at the deep end. I am sorry if this topic has been raised before...I did a search but not much came up.

I access a number of online news sources whilst eating my breakfast. One of which, I am afraid to admit is the daily mail. I have a real issue with its reporting on many levels, but am interested in how different news sources represent the news (or non-news in many cases on their website).

However, one thing has struck me in the last few months or so, is their definition of what is acceptable photography to include on the ‘front page’ of their website. This is often followed by a disclaimer in the subtitle of the story in capitals ‘WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT’. So, an example today was of a man found ‘guilty’ of homosexuality by IS and thrown from a rooftop and then stoned to death at the bottom when he miraculously survives. I found the content of the photographs on the front page graphic and disturbing enough without having to click on the article.

I suppose my question is AIBU to want to visit a news website and not have to view these images unless I choose to do so, by clicking on the story. I know and fully agree we should know about atrocities around the world, but is this type of reporting sensationalist? Is it enough just to read the words? Should we be forced to confront the images and the horror of what is going on?

The obvious answer is to stop looking at the DM (incidentally the Independent is running the same story, albeit with fewer images), but is this the way we are heading, and do we run the risk of being de-sensitised to it all?

LurkingHusband Tue 03-Feb-15 10:01:24

It's a tricky question. My thoughts are if we start sanitising the news, pretty soon it will just be stories about cats. Which is lovely and heart warming, but means we exclude all the bad news. And the problem is, if we don't know about bad things happening

1) we can't do anything about it
2) people will get away with it

Bearing in mind, there's quite a few people who take the stance "pictures or it never happened".

Personally, I think the news should be more graphic. Maybe people might feel more inclined to try and do something to change the world.

MidniteScribbler Tue 03-Feb-15 10:06:36

My issue is that some images are not necessary. A man was shot here today, and several times they showed video of his mother collapsing on the ground in distress. Not necessary. Like with large disasters such as the Malaysian airline crash and we were bombarded with images of upset relatives who had to constantly run the gauntlet of journalists. People should be at least able to grieve privately, unless they personally choose to interact with the media.

blankgaze Tue 03-Feb-15 10:18:56

I think we're in danger of being de-sensitised to violent crime.
I see images, usually thumbnails of beaten up pensioners, victims of pub brawls/muggings, ill-treated animals and other subjects that I really do not want to look at unless I choose to open something with a warning. Lately I've been wondering why they bother with the warnings because I've already registered the horror.
My family are grown but I'd not like a young child to see these as 'normal' news coverage.

ATisketATasket Tue 03-Feb-15 10:25:58

lurkinghusband I agree with what you say, and we do need evidence that these things are happening. I do wonder how effective it is though. For example (and this is purely anecdotal) I lived in Central America for a little while, where images of bloodied murdered bodies were a regular occurrence on the front pages of the newspapers. Didn't seem to stop the murders, in fact it seems they have become more commonplace and brutal.

I suppose if news is to become more graphic here, how can we protect little people who don't need to know about the awful things that happen in the world just yet....with your own children, what age would you be happy them accessing these images (either intentionally or unintentionally)?

midnightscribbler again totally agree that journalism seems to be incredibly intrusive to the victims families also. although i suppose you could argue that it may spur people into action through showing the aftermath and suffering?

LurkingHusband Tue 03-Feb-15 10:30:11

Of course there's something in human nature which seems drawn to the grotesque - you see it clearly in children. Memories of a gaggle of 8 year olds at the decaying carcass of a pigeon in the playing field. 14 year olds passing around the history book showing a beheading in China in the early 20th century. The same book which had the picture of the burning monk, by the way.

SaucyJack Tue 03-Feb-15 10:30:45

I dunno, it's difficult to know what to do for the greater good.

I do know though that we are enormously privileged in that if we don't want to see wars or famine then all we need do is not click on a certain newspaper website. For many others in the world.... they have no choice to look away. This is on their doorsteps.

BreakingDad77 Tue 03-Feb-15 10:52:28

It is actually sanitised already.

When I read newspapers in the middle east, when there was a bombing say in pakistan, in the west its all pictures of damaged buildings, where as in ME you saw a bit of an arm and some torso on the pavement. When there was a tale of trafficked people in a container all dying, you saw them all laid out on a tarpaulin next to it.

IHeartChristmasMoomies Tue 03-Feb-15 11:02:08

I think that they should blur the pictures so you can click if you want. Like NSFW pics on a lot of sites.

I don't read the DM (or much news at all lately) because I'm a sensitive wee flower. That's tongue in cheek really, but the news is so upsetting I'd rather bury my head in the sand.

IHeartChristmasMoomies Tue 03-Feb-15 11:04:53

BreakingDad - do you remember the gas attack recently in Syria? Cried my eyes out at the ITV coverage which panned a camera slowly round a room with dead men women and children in it.

It sickens me that human beings are so vile. And I'm afraid even the nice stories I can't appreciate for what they are, I am so jaded I can't help but think that the nice things happen only for the publicity.

BreakingDad77 Tue 03-Feb-15 11:22:18

I think there is pros and cons, it some way it needs to be shown but not so much that you become desensitized to it?

IHeartChristmasMoomies Tue 03-Feb-15 11:52:02

I think it should be there, definitely. But sometimes, I might go to a website for a bit of fluff to read before I start work. I'd like to have the choice of seeing it, in that medium, as it is possible. Obviously it's not in newspapers and television.

Davsmum Tue 03-Feb-15 12:21:05

I think we should all be aware of what is going on but we don't necessarily have to see photos or video of it.
The media does restrict SOME images when they feel they are too horrific and I have heard people complain about that!
It does worry me that people are getting desensitized by seeing too much too often.

OwlinaTree Tue 03-Feb-15 15:22:13

Another issue is that everyone is a journalist in a sense now with camera phones, hence the rise in these types of videos. Sometimes it's better people see the website version than clicking on YouTube links for eg, as that is not edited at all. If official news sites don't show videos of these events when they are available, people will look elsewhere.

dejarderoncar Tue 03-Feb-15 17:18:51

There may be an arguement to a certain extent that pictures of wars and natural disasters etc and their aftermath should be shown.

What I hate most about the DM website are the totally unnecessary photos of animals mutilating or devouring each other, often in scenarios which seeem completely set up by the photograapher, or of animal cruelty when they have no news value and are simply gore-porn to feed the most twisted members of so our so called superior species.

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