Why the pro journalists deserve our respect

The bloggers love to pick on the main stream journalists. But, that changed today for me.

The NPPA put up the best of television photojournalism awards. That’s nice, and worth watching. But check out the Judge’s Choice Award. Be ready. It is graphic. Beyond Words: Photographers of War. It’s not easy to watch. The guy who sent it to me said he watched it three times because it is so moving.

I’m taking the rest of the day off trying to catch up my life (tons of email waits, and tons of things Maryam has me doing). Today belongs to the pros.

My hat is off to the pros. Thanks for bringing us the uncomfortable stuff around the world and for putting your lives on the line.

36 thoughts on “Why the pro journalists deserve our respect

  1. Looks like your ping backs are causing the WordPress server to go down. Word Press prolly uses PHP and mySQL which choke on weird characters. Why not use ASP.NET and SQL Express, at least foreign web pages won’t bring down the server! Hey while I am at it, why doesn’t Google return searches on http://www.thepeoplescube.com, try it, it doesn’t return anything, how’s that for censor-ship? Yes I agree it may be a ploy to get their website out there…It’s funny though.

  2. Looks like your ping backs are causing the WordPress server to go down. Word Press prolly uses PHP and mySQL which choke on weird characters. Why not use ASP.NET and SQL Express, at least foreign web pages won’t bring down the server! Hey while I am at it, why doesn’t Google return searches on http://www.thepeoplescube.com, try it, it doesn’t return anything, how’s that for censor-ship? Yes I agree it may be a ploy to get their website out there…It’s funny though.

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  5. Hey Guzzard, whats your blog address? You sound like you’ve got very similar views to me about the media, I’d love to hear what else you have to say. Podesta, don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of them cared – funnily enough, it was the women who seemed the least emotional. I would also much rather read/watch war on a blog from the perspective of something who lives right there and whose life it involves. Maybe mainstream photojournalism has no real effect because we are so sick of the bad news, the endless ‘complex’ wars that nothing can be done about and that ingrained line ‘there’s no option but war’. Even glorifying the job of ‘war reporters’ glorifies war, if unintentionally. Moving documentary or not, I hate it how deep you have to search to find conflicts that get resolved peacefully – these are our real heroes.

  6. Hey Guzzard, whats your blog address? You sound like you’ve got very similar views to me about the media, I’d love to hear what else you have to say. Podesta, don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of them cared – funnily enough, it was the women who seemed the least emotional. I would also much rather read/watch war on a blog from the perspective of something who lives right there and whose life it involves. Maybe mainstream photojournalism has no real effect because we are so sick of the bad news, the endless ‘complex’ wars that nothing can be done about and that ingrained line ‘there’s no option but war’. Even glorifying the job of ‘war reporters’ glorifies war, if unintentionally. Moving documentary or not, I hate it how deep you have to search to find conflicts that get resolved peacefully – these are our real heroes.

  7. Seems as though you are only a real journalist if you report the bad stuff. News is all about bad stuff happening to people. Putting their lives on the line, to show us bad stuff. Why are we so interested in this crap, it’s nothing more than snuff-tv. I really don’t watch the news anymore, local or national. I just read blogs about things I care about. The Pro’s as you put it make money, they make their bosses money…it’s all about money. Someone get’s their head chopped off, it’s gonna make someone some money.

  8. Seems as though you are only a real journalist if you report the bad stuff. News is all about bad stuff happening to people. Putting their lives on the line, to show us bad stuff. Why are we so interested in this crap, it’s nothing more than snuff-tv. I really don’t watch the news anymore, local or national. I just read blogs about things I care about. The Pro’s as you put it make money, they make their bosses money…it’s all about money. Someone get’s their head chopped off, it’s gonna make someone some money.

  9. Natalie, I think that for some male photographers and war correspondents it would be against their Hemingway image if they seemed to care too much. Yet, one can’t be too dismissive because they are taking the kind of risk that very few people will. That is particularly clear if one considers that many of the American legislature, Congress, at least, did their damndest to avoid military service or anything in which they would risk more than a twisted ankle.

    I have less patience with people who have gone to Iraq to try to convert Muslims. That’s arrogant and presumptuous. I feel sorry when they are maimed or killed, but they are assuming that risk for what I consider to be a bad reason;.

  10. Natalie, I think that for some male photographers and war correspondents it would be against their Hemingway image if they seemed to care too much. Yet, one can’t be too dismissive because they are taking the kind of risk that very few people will. That is particularly clear if one considers that many of the American legislature, Congress, at least, did their damndest to avoid military service or anything in which they would risk more than a twisted ankle.

    I have less patience with people who have gone to Iraq to try to convert Muslims. That’s arrogant and presumptuous. I feel sorry when they are maimed or killed, but they are assuming that risk for what I consider to be a bad reason;.

  11. I was convinced I would hate ‘Beyond Words’, that it would be a big push for the mega news corporations. What I saw and was reminded that within these often horrible organisations are real people do their best to make a difference. A lot did still seem hung up on personal glory, but some were working for a higher cause, not all war photographers are equal. I admire them for coming out about their fears that everything they have done is a waste and that they have only glorified war, not helped stop it. It’s true, everyone who has watched it has commented on how horrific the scenes are but I bet not one of us has made any move to do something. When you see someones head being used as a football, or a child so thin you mistake them for a skeleton, should that not inspire every one of us to make stopping that happen again top priority? Is there a fatal flaw in photojournalism that stops this link being made?

  12. I was convinced I would hate ‘Beyond Words’, that it would be a big push for the mega news corporations. What I saw and was reminded that within these often horrible organisations are real people do their best to make a difference. A lot did still seem hung up on personal glory, but some were working for a higher cause, not all war photographers are equal. I admire them for coming out about their fears that everything they have done is a waste and that they have only glorified war, not helped stop it. It’s true, everyone who has watched it has commented on how horrific the scenes are but I bet not one of us has made any move to do something. When you see someones head being used as a football, or a child so thin you mistake them for a skeleton, should that not inspire every one of us to make stopping that happen again top priority? Is there a fatal flaw in photojournalism that stops this link being made?

  13. Robert: I haven’t seen what you’ve linked to, but by doing so, you are giving comfort and aid to the Enemy ;)

    (for the obtuse, that is a phrase used ad nauseum to describe folks who talk about the disturbing aspects of war by idealogues/pundit)

  14. Robert: I haven’t seen what you’ve linked to, but by doing so, you are giving comfort and aid to the Enemy ;)

    (for the obtuse, that is a phrase used ad nauseum to describe folks who talk about the disturbing aspects of war by idealogues/pundit)

  15. Bloggers are mainly just expressing opinions. Journalists, on the other hand, should be reporting facts. (In the case of columnists, their opinions should be based on facts.) If one accepts the self-serving position of someone like Waldo (what a deserved name) that very important distinction will be lost.

  16. Bloggers are mainly just expressing opinions. Journalists, on the other hand, should be reporting facts. (In the case of columnists, their opinions should be based on facts.) If one accepts the self-serving position of someone like Waldo (what a deserved name) that very important distinction will be lost.

  17. great post.

    More broadly – Not sure why it has become bloggers v, MSM (and also v. analysts) I try to quote, link to them early and often on my blog. They tend be weightier than blogs, we tend to do much more instant analysis. When i was at Gartner it would take days of editing, socializing to get a 200 word doc out. I suspect same in MSM. On the other hand they do not seem to realize we bring a practitioner perspective to most subjects. Not better or worse – different. We need to be respectful of them and vice versa.

    PS – that does not mean we cannot take dollars away from them!

  18. great post.

    More broadly – Not sure why it has become bloggers v, MSM (and also v. analysts) I try to quote, link to them early and often on my blog. They tend be weightier than blogs, we tend to do much more instant analysis. When i was at Gartner it would take days of editing, socializing to get a 200 word doc out. I suspect same in MSM. On the other hand they do not seem to realize we bring a practitioner perspective to most subjects. Not better or worse – different. We need to be respectful of them and vice versa.

    PS – that does not mean we cannot take dollars away from them!

  19. Waldo: I’m not paid to blog. I’m paid to evangelize Microsoft’s developer platforms. (Only a small amount of which I do on my blog).

    I’m certainly not paid to blog war.

  20. Waldo: I’m not paid to blog. I’m paid to evangelize Microsoft’s developer platforms. (Only a small amount of which I do on my blog).

    I’m certainly not paid to blog war.

  21. What’s the difference between a professional and a non-professional? I always thought it came down to whether you were paid or not. Aren’t you paid to blog? So doesn’t that make you a professional?

    Sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but it seems really odd to me that you always try associate yourself with independent bloggers, often by distancing youself from professionals, when you are a professional yourself. Okay, maybe you’re more of a professional PR man than a professional journalist, but then shouldn’t you be saying something more like “My hat is off to people that report the news [rather than hyping products]” instead of talking about “professionals” in the third person?

  22. What’s the difference between a professional and a non-professional? I always thought it came down to whether you were paid or not. Aren’t you paid to blog? So doesn’t that make you a professional?

    Sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but it seems really odd to me that you always try associate yourself with independent bloggers, often by distancing youself from professionals, when you are a professional yourself. Okay, maybe you’re more of a professional PR man than a professional journalist, but then shouldn’t you be saying something more like “My hat is off to people that report the news [rather than hyping products]” instead of talking about “professionals” in the third person?

  23. Excellent link, Robert. Especially Robert Marshall’s “The Battle of Fallujah” (under “Editing” category, click on “Editors Feature”). The video is a demonstration of the pure art of editing. We can talk about the war, debate it to the nth degree, until the bone-chilling images render us silent.

  24. Excellent link, Robert. Especially Robert Marshall’s “The Battle of Fallujah” (under “Editing” category, click on “Editors Feature”). The video is a demonstration of the pure art of editing. We can talk about the war, debate it to the nth degree, until the bone-chilling images render us silent.

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