A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

Falling Man

For those of you who may not recall, the above photo was take on 9/11/2001, at the falling of the World Trade Centers in New York.  This “unknown” man was photographed by Richard Drew.  He choose to jump to his death as opposed to being engulfed in the flames of the Twin Towers.


This photo also centers on two individuals falling from a burning building, yet this photo has a different story behind it.  In 1977, Stanley Forman happened to be in the right place at the right time in order to capture this photo and later win the Pulitzer Prize for it.

This photo was captured when a young god-mother and her god child were standing on the outside of their burning apartment building.  The fire fighter went to rescue them on his ladder, and right before, the fire escape collapsed, cause the two girls to fall to the ground.  The 19 year old fell to her death, breaking the fall of the toddler.


Other than falling, fires, and death, what is the similarity between these two photographs?  The answer to that question:


Both of these photos are extremely gruesome and tell a story of death with no words needed.  Many would question whether posting photos such as these two is an ethical move on the part of a journalist.

There are a lot of questions being asked:

  1. Is it necessary to show these images to the public?
  2. Does it just cause more grief for the family members?
  3. Is it strictly based on getting attention/money?
  4. What are the motives behind the journalist?
  5. Is it professional to post these photos?

The viewer can not answer these photos.  Only the journalist/photographer truly can.  If they truly believe it will better the public, or show a stronger message behind the story, than it is their right to publish the photo.  While the two above are a challenge to look at, they tell the story in a much deeper light than just words.  The photo also captures a readers attention and helps them grasp a better understanding of the heart wrenching story.


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