I was watching the news this morning, and heard of the second mine cave-in in Utah, and the resulting deaths and injuries from that. That is a horrible tragedy.
However, it’s not that specifically that’s got my muse abuzz this morning. In the video shown on the news, there’s what appears to be a mother and daughter, both very distressed, that just arrived at the scene. And running beside them, slightly ahead, is some jerk with a big camera rig in front of his face and another on his hip, shooting away as he runs alongside these folks, trying hard to capture their anguish. The video then broke to wherever these folks were headed. The family was all together, hugging and crying…. and lit up like the sun from all the camera lights on them. Video cameras were churning and still photographers were clicking away, all jostling for position to try to get the shot and none of them — from what I could see — seeming to feel much remorse for the additional stress they were surely inflicting on this grieving family.
Yeah, I know, Mr. Irony is close at hand: if someone hadn’t been shooting video of this, I would’ve never seen it. Trust me, I can live without hearing the wailing cries of a family who has lost a loved one in a disaster, and would’ve been just as informed about the news of the event with the exploitation of the survivors.
Folks, this is insane, disrespectful, and just downright rude — I’m not even sure I have all the right words to explain how disgusted I am with this behavior. A few days ago, Moose Peterson talked about some rude folks who were following (or actually, chasing) some bears through the woods near his home. I agree with his assessment of those folks. To me, though, this is an even higher level of rude, and I suspect there’s a special level in the fires below for folks that play the game this way, and exploit folks in this particularly public manner, merely in the name of getting a story, getting it first and making it as sensational as possible.
And that’s why I don’t shoot photojournalistically!