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ITV News showed a dying man. Am I the only one who was upset?

37 replies

Easy · 30/01/2006 14:59

Watching coverage of the Polish exhibition hall collapse at the weekend, I was pretty horrified to see coverage of a man who was crushed and trapped. He was wailing and shuddering, and clearly was dying. This was shown in the opening section of the late evening news, and again as the main coverage of the disaster.

I was even more upset to see the same film (but I think a longer section) shown in the bulletin last night.
I don't need to see a man who is dying to believe that people are dying. I don't think it showed any respect for the man who was dying. And shouldn't the camera man have put down his camera and tried to get the poor guy out ?

I am planning to write to ITV news about this, but dh says I'll just get marked down as some Mrs Angry.

Anyone feel like me? or am I just squeamish?

OP posts:
Easy · 30/01/2006 15:00

Sorry, meant to say this was showen twice in aturday's bulletin, and again last night.

OP posts:
ponygirl · 30/01/2006 15:05

I saw this too, Easy, and couldn't believe it when I realised what it was. Thought it was revolting and totally unnecessary. It seemed disgustingly prurient for some cameraman to stand there recording that poor man's anguish just to get a bit of film that's dramatic enough for the news.

JoolsToo · 30/01/2006 15:15

Well, it's happened before - Heysel, The Potomac aircrash - horrifying to watch I agree.

Easy · 30/01/2006 15:20

No thats the thing, I don't think I've ever seen this type of thing before. Yes we have seen bodies lying on the ground, and we have seen injured and dying people being carried away or dug from a disaster scene.

But no one was helping this man, apparently there was no-one available to help or even comfort this man, but a camera man thought it was Okay to film him, and a news editor thought it was suitable viewing for us.

OP posts:
hana · 30/01/2006 15:22

i thought he had been rescued?

VeniVidiVickiQV · 30/01/2006 15:23

Didnt they say he was trying to use his mobile phone or something? Or am i thinking of something different?

Agree, it is unnecessary.

Easy · 30/01/2006 15:25

VVV yes, he was trying to use his mobile.

I am not aware that he had been rescued. Did the Cameraman set to to help then?

OP posts:
Mercy · 30/01/2006 15:27

Didn't see the clip you're referrng too - was the orginal coverage live?

(JoolsToo, I remember those scenes very clearly too )

TambaTheTemptress · 30/01/2006 15:30

I saw a clip of a pile of concrete and a dusty hand poking out waving. Wasnt nice

Helen38 · 30/01/2006 16:07

I saw that too, the chap with the mobile in his hand, wanted to shout at the camera crew to stop filming and help the poor chap.
I don't think you are squeamish just someone who gives a dam about seeing others suffer, surely helping was more important than good pictures for the news?
Look you've made me rant!

edam · 30/01/2006 16:11

There's been a long-standing debate about when journalists should stop witnessing and start intervening. Mostly between foreign correspondents because they are the people who often cover disasters.

Didn't see this footage, so can't comment directly, but maybe the camera operator did try to help the man, after the footage you saw ? but it is a camera operator's instinct to film first.

ThePrisoner · 30/01/2006 19:19

I saw this footage too, and hoped that they would say later in the broadcast that he had been rescued. Haven't heard anything yet (but haven't seen news today).

Flossam · 30/01/2006 19:21

No not necessary at all. haven't seen it but for me the most distressing thing for me about 7/7 was seeing a man being moved and having cardiac massage at the same time. Obviously a goner as the two don't mix. his family might have been watching that. Still brings tears to my eyes today.

homemama · 30/01/2006 19:47

Sorry Edam, but I am stunned at your comment that the camera operator's first instinct would be to film!
Surely the first instinct of any decent person would be to drop everything and help. DH once missed a job interview because he stopped to help someone who appeared to be having a heart attack in the street. Surely when faced with something like this you forget all else and help?

monkeytrousers · 30/01/2006 19:59

Homamama there is and has been a long running debate on the ethics of photo-journalism - Google 'bang bang club' and you'll get an idea of it (don't worry it's not a snuff film site). The 'bang bang club' we're a group of Pulitzer prize photo-journalists but the ethics of the job, as well as their personal morals are still debated.

Easy, I'd definitely write to ITV - keep a record and follow it up - and anyone else who saw and was disturbed by the images.

If you don't complain they take your silence as praise and will do it all the more, believe me. If you didn't like it it's your democratic duty to register your feelings. I didn't see it as I don't watch ITV news (too tabloid for me, makes my blood boil every time I watch it) but I'd be complaining if I had. Take no notice of your boyfriend fact challenge him to do something for the cause of democracy as well as you!

getbakainyourjimjams · 30/01/2006 20:01

Yes Flossam I saw that and was horrified as well. Quite agree Easy, its unecessary.

getbakainyourjimjams · 30/01/2006 20:02

Flossam- what realy shocked me about that was that is was live so may have been the first thing the family knew.

Mercy · 30/01/2006 20:02

Horrible though it may seem I think Edam is right. I know a couple of cameramen and photojournalists - it's what they're paid to do. Imo, the fault lies with the news editor after the intial (live?) broadcast; s/he should have decided to give a warning before the clip was shown and/or edit it v carefully.

FairyMum · 30/01/2006 20:09

I once complained to a newspapers for printing a photo of a dead palestinian child. I don't need pictures of dead children in the papers, it's more than enough to read about it. We always hide the papers from our children because the photos are just getting more increasingly shocking. Still seems more accepted to print photos of dying children who are not European or American though and that has me fuming even more and choking on my coffee.
By the way, I did get a reply from the newspaper editor who said it was a dilemma weather to print these photos, but that he thougt often the families of the dead wanted it printed and shown to the world. In this case he was talking about the Palestinaian conflict/iraqi war.

Marina · 30/01/2006 20:17

I saw the footage in question and did find it shocking. I know it is the job of news crews to get the shots etc but this specific report was very upsetting and ITV were wrong to show it.
I also felt it was wrong to hound the Dutch guy for a quotable quote when he was clearly still in shock from losing three in his party.
FWIW I don't think this story would have been handled in quite such an insensitive and instrusive way if the hall collapse had happened in the UK.
Sixty people died in Katowice and most of Britain's sunday papers led on Chantelle's next moves post CBB

SorenLorensen · 30/01/2006 20:28

I think that too, Marina (that as it's 'foreign' it's deemed more acceptable to show such scenes) - although, as Flossam has mentioned, there was some distressing footage of 7/7 too.

On the same lines I was reading the Guardian (months ago) at the table while ds2 was eating his lunch next to me and I turned to the centre pages to see a double page picture of a body draped over a fence in amongst the ruins of New Orleans. The body had been there for some time and was in a state of advanced decomposition. Ds2 immediately went "what's that, Mummy?" I really couldn't see why it was necessary to use such a shocking image - that was someone's child, or someone's parent.

Flossam · 30/01/2006 20:34

But then they showed it again JJ. Then I got really really [cross]. Horrible.


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edam · 30/01/2006 20:48

I wasn't making a moral judgement, just trying to explain that camera operators will react instinctively by filming. That's second nature to them. They do their job. Often at considerable risk to themselves (IIRC John Simpsons' cameraman carried on filming on one occasion when Simpson had been shot, I think).

Mercy's right that the judgement about whether to use distressing images is down to the editor. And MT's suggestion about looking up the bang-bang club for the ethical debate is excellent.

homemama · 30/01/2006 21:30

No, I know you weren't, it just shocked me. I'm still shocked at having to watch footage of people jumping from upper storeys of the World Trade Centre on 9/11!
...But maybe the whole point is to create lasting well remembered images.

littlemissbossy · 30/01/2006 21:31

Easy, I too was horrified and I'm not particularly squeamish

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