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Censoring/Modifying Reality on the Front Page

 
 
sozobe
 
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Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:33 am
Hmm, sozlet passed that one by without a second look or a question. I think it is rather abstract and hard to identify if the child hasn't seen a coffin before, and if the child HAS seen a coffin before, then, they will have already been exposed in much more personal/ affecting terms.

What was most affecting to me was how many. I think that's part of it -- it's a steady trickle of names every day, but that picture takes the trickle out of it, brings home the enormity of loss.
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Eva
 
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Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 03:11 pm
My son (10 yrs. old) has attended funerals of relatives, but he would not equate these flag-covered boxes with the flower-covered coffins he has seen.

I would have no problem with this photo or article appearing on the front page. I find the photo respectful, not shocking or horrific.
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Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 01:20 am
Noddy24 wrote:
Sozobe--

I agree--but if a child of tender years has not yet been exposed to the concept of death (or sacrifice) that photography will do it.

Maybe so, but I think that last year's star-sprangled TV coverage of the "Shock and awe" campaign (remember that?) was much more likely than those coffins to expose children to the concept of death. Maybe it's just me, but I don't remember hearing any sensibility concerns back when the US was winning. Presumably the difference is that dead Americans are shocking but dead Iraqis are not. Or that killing for victory is good, but being killed in the defensive is bad.

Whichever it is, I don't buy it.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 05:08 am
I wasn't a child anymore [despite what others say/said :wink: ] at that time, but as far as I remember, there were more 'draconian' photos on the frontpages during the Vietnam war than now.

And no-one bothered about them being printed.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 08:49 am
Walter--

There was enormous hoofra about the Viet Nam coverage. Graphic photographs were responsible both for corrupting children and for ruining adult breakfasts.

Graphic coverage of Viet Nam inspired the peace movement and eventually the end of the American presence in the country.
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Thomas
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 09:16 am
Noddy24 wrote:
Graphic coverage of Viet Nam inspired the peace movement and eventually the end of the American presence in the country.

One more argument for promoting graphic coverage ...
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Eva
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 10:24 am
Nice thought, Thomas, except I don't think that would work again. (sigh) We're not as idealistic as we were in the '60s & '70s.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 10:36 am
I think many US children are exposed from an early age to violence without apparent consequence, such as violence in cartoons and, as I was, in what are now somewhat old fashioned westerns on tv. (And then there are movies!) Many are exposed to real violence within their families and sometimes on the playground. These can happen early.
Children all over the world are exposed to disease, starvation, war.

I think violence needs to be commented on fairly early on, as in sozobe's real life example with the sozlet. I am inclined to think that when a child can perceive what is in that photo, what the visual content means, is right about the time that a child should be being told somehow that violence is real and very hurtful.

On the photos on the front page or page three -
I agree with fbaezer's summary about taste.
I do think the NY times photo, as described here, made sense to use, with its emphasis on the foreground and the anger.

Re auto accidents, etc., it is inappropriate to me to parade explicit photos on page one.

A photo showing the anger that is building up in response to an invasion to the apparently stunned population of the invading country, mine, is important news in that country, especially given the context of multiple angry forces in the wider region of the invasion, and given the apparent reasoning spurring on Bin Laden and associates being that the west/US has invaded their culture with ours.

And yet, back to taste. Sensationalism can be a goad and obscure thoughtful response. Thus I approve of the different media at least trying to pick the least sensational photo that would show the incident with the anger.

I don't watch tv myself anymore, actually being bored by it, or at least by the channels I can get without cable tv. Part of my growing boredom was from having to thresh about for anything that didn't play on the sensational as a sort of junk pulsing. I feel similarly about most books on the best seller lists. So I concur on not wanting a child to have a diet of sensationalized photos or even plots/storylines.
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Scrat
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 11:37 am
ossobuco wrote:
I think many US children are exposed from an early age to violence without apparent consequence, such as violence in cartoons and, as I was, in what are now somewhat old fashioned westerns on tv.

I think many US children are exposed from an early age to common sense, and use it to recognize the difference between cartoons and reality.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2004 12:08 pm
I agree, Scrat, that they can differentiate, but am still not delighted by all these barrages of (even unreal) violent images without early discussion of how real violence is hurtful.
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Scrat
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 11:03 am
ossobuco wrote:
I agree, Scrat, that they can differentiate, but am still not delighted by all these barrages of (even unreal) violent images without early discussion of how real violence is hurtful.

I can't speak for other households, but in mine, we always take time to provide our daughter appropriate context for the things she sees on TV and in movies. When I see a cartoon character bullying others, I'll comment, "He's not being very nice, is he? Do you think the other kids are going to want to play with him if he behaves like that?" Or, if a cartoon character blows something up, I'll say, "In real life, Wile E. Coyote would be wearing a kaffiyeh." :wink:

Seriously though... you seem to assume that no parents are doing their jobs. I can't claim to know whether those of us who are doing the job are in the majority or the minority, but I can tell you that we're out here.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 11:09 am
The one thing about common sense is that it often isn't common. - Voltaire
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 01:15 pm
Scrat wrote:
Or, if a cartoon character blows something up, I'll say, "In real life, Wile E. Coyote would be wearing a kaffiyeh." :wink:


Gee, doesn't EVERYBODY root for Wile E. Coyote?
Doesn't everybody want him to catch the darn road-runner? :wink:
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 06:37 pm
Scrat, I gave an example of some parents dealing with the subject well - Sozobe.
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bromeliad
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 08:13 pm
Bill's right.

~~~

I have a 2 yr old. She has very good eyesight and notices everything. We go to the grocery store together, where they display newspapers and magazines. I guess I should grow my own food in my back yard.

I don't watch the news when she's around. I do watch sports (she loves sports), HGtv and the foodnetwork. I'm fed up of violent ads on G-rated shows, particularly for movies. One came on and I couldn't get to the remote in time. She said "Owie boo boo" when people were getting shoved around. And the Super Bowl! No, I don't care if she sees a naked boob (though how it was exposed was not nice). What I was upset about was the ad for that stupid Van Helsing movie.
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Scrat
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 09:55 pm
ossobuco wrote:
Scrat, I gave an example of some parents dealing with the subject well - Sozobe.

Sorry then, I didn't see it. (I actually just re-read the post in question, and still don't, but I'll take your word for it that you believe you dealt with this already... maybe in an earlier post I haven't read...?)
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2004 12:07 am
Scrat, I'll be glad to add where I think my own point of view is weak, which is that at the age when a child begins to get that violence is by nature brutal, he or she may be thrust into seeing a very ugly image. Most of us want to cocoon the child to be able to absorb the fulness of life's horror very slowly, and emphasize the good.

Which is why I want a child to have some background earlier than I did, to be able to adjust to the images which will barrage him/her - never mind from the New York Times, that is the least of it.

I think I set you to thinking I was all negative on parents, Scrat, though I don't myself see how. I also understand a parent of an older child not wanting (them) confronted with tough images too, it could be even tougher when you are older and in someways more sensitive as you know more what you are looking at.

I was a protected older child myself. And then boom, I saw images of Dachau.

All this was by way of discussing what is appropriate re the newspaper front page. I think I addressed my opinion on that and will be quiet now.
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Scrat
 
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Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2004 09:05 am
Osso - I guess I didn't respond clearly. I didn't mean to claim that you'd taken a negative stance on parents, but rather that your comments seemed to me to assume that parents aren't in the picture, helping children to understand what to make of violent images they come across. Of course, I'm sure you know that, but I wanted to balance your comments with my point of view. Cool
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