Photojournalism Code of Ethics

I’m going to talk about the photojournalism and the ethic of the photographer profession.The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has a Code of Ethics that “is intended to promote the highest quality in all forms of visual journalism and to strengthen public confidence in the profession. It is also meant to serve as an educational tool both for those who practice and for those who appreciate photojournalism,” explains NPPA in the preamble.

To treat this topic I have chosen a polemic photo and history of that photo about the winner of World Press Photo of the Year 2013 1st prize singles, Paul Hansen. He also was named POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2010 for a photo of “Fifteen year-old Fabienne Cherisma was shot dead by police at approximately 4pm, January 19th, 2010.”

This picture won the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 1st prize singles | Photo: Paul Hansen

The photo was taken in Haiti following the devastating earthquake. It’s a hard image, which Hansen said in an interview for Prison Photography: “For me, Fabienne’s death and her story is a poignant reminder of the need for a society To Have basic security -. With or without a disaster.”

Taking this photo respect the ethics of NPPA “reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding,” but “photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated.” I’m not saying that this picture are manipulated but if we see another photo (below) of the same moment, we can doubt of the ethic of this profession.

An other point of view of the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 1st prize singles | Photo: Nathan Weber

In the second photo we can see nine photographers who are taking the picture of Fabienne’s death. All of them contemplate the scene but do nothing, their only concern is to photograph the corpse of the young. Furthermore they knew that photo would publish by any of the others. The question is: is more important get the picture to show the problem than try to fix it?

Post by Álvaro Concha Sánchez


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