These days I don’t go anywhere without a camera. It’s on my phone and my phone is always with me.
We’re now used to taking pictures of anything, wherever we are, whether that’s the food on our plate, a lovely sunset…or an unfolding tragedy.
I think there is a difference between looking into the eyes of someone about to die and watching an object collide with something
After seeing what the national papers were planning on putting on their front pages the day after the shooting of the WDBJ reporter and her cameraman in America, I took to Twitter to ask why it was necessary to see still shots of what were literally that reporter’s last actions.
Do we really need to see such images, taken as they were from the gunman’s point of view, in order to be outraged at such an atrocity?
Do we need to be shown the footage? To look into her eyes just as she was looking into her murderer’s?
I was asked this by someone on Twitter, whose response to my question about the front pages was to send me links to media pictures of executions.
I’m not entirely sure he understood when I said I didn’t want to see pictures of people dying.
And is there a difference between showing pictures of a murder, including muzzle flash, and showing pictures of the planes flying into the Twin Towers on 9/11? If so, what is it?
And what about the footage we keep being shown of the Shoreham air crash? Isn’t that just voyeurism too?
We know the names, ages and occupations of some of the victims. We know what they look like. Should we still be watching the moment they lost their lives, over and over again?
Just because we can look at it, should we?
I think there is a difference between looking into the eyes of someone about to die and watching an object collide with something.
We don’t see pictures of the people jumping from the Twin Towers any more, presumably for that very reason.
We didn’t need to see them die to know their murderers had to be brought to justice, just as we don’t need to see footage of the WDBJ murders to know America has got to stand up to the NRA and tackle gun control.