Food for Thought – Photojournalism Ethics Debate

“New York Post Runs Pic of Man About to be Hit by Subway Train”

From Photography News:

December 5, 2012 /Photography News/ The New York Post received harsh criticism after running a front-page photo of a man trying to scramble to safety seconds before he was killed by a subway train. But this picture’s existence started another conversation, summarized on NBC’s Today Show:  “Somebody’s taking that picture. Why aren’t they helping this guy up?”


This story has been on mind for quite some time… so I decided to spark some thoughts among my fellow photogs.  Take a look at this video from of photographer, R. Umar Abbasi.  What would you do?

As photographers, we understand the fight/desire to get a “once in a lifetime” shot but as human beings… I have to believe my gut instinct would be to throw my camera down and try to help.  Trust me, I know this is easier said not being in the situation.

But the question is…  As a photojournalist/documentarian… is it ones duty to rescue (without endangering oneself) or photograph? Is capturing history or events as they unfold more important than trying to save a life?

Just asking…

Sending my condolences to Ki Suk Han’s family.



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