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Photog attends funeral of infant killed at zoo: Is it the right call?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Hey Diaz!, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Hey Diaz!

    Hey Diaz! Member

    I'm kind of conflicted on this.

    I understand the news value of being there, but I also see the other side that says there is little to gain by being at an infant's funeral to shoot photos.

    Here's the photographer's response:

    http://ptrphotoblog.tumblr.com/post/35351655811/jason-derkosh-holds-his-wife-elizabeth-at-the

    Thoughts?
     
  2. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I agree with this. Be discrete and respectful, but cover the news.
     
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Did he check with the family ahead of time or get some kind of approval to be there?

    I don't buy the notion that the funeral of a 2-year-old is a necessarily public event.
     
  4. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Hard to tell from the photo exactly where it was shot. (Hell of a photo, by the way.)

    If he was in the church, he pretty clearly had the family's blessing to be there.

    I assume all the media outlets in Pittsburgh knew whether they were welcome at the funeral and planned accordingly. In a situation like this one, I suspect my shop would go if we were welcome, and completely leave it alone if we were not. There are times when we will go and shoot from the street, but this wouldn't be one of them.
     
  5. This is the part of the story where I call "bullshit"

    "We all feel their pain, including the members of the media who were assigned to cover the funeral."

    No, make no mistake about it, no, you don't. You don't feel the pain of the parents, not of the grandparents, not really even of the second cousin on the fathers side. You don't because you didn't know the kid. But it is a convenient way to make your argument in these cases.

    I would imagine it was pretty heavily attended, and the risk of pissing someone off, not even the immediate family, would have been higher. The minute you become a distraction, whether it was your fault or not, you become a problem. You getting the photo vs family in mourning . . . you can argue it all you want, one side of that ratio is more important. Hint, it isn't carrying a press pass.

    Not to mention that you can cover this without actually being at the funeral. It's not perfect, but it is covering it. If you are standing across the street from the funeral home or church, well, then we can start arguing a different story. That would be an alternative way to get the story. Certainly not perfect, but its a way to cover it without tryign to become the story, which you did.
     
  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I tend to agree. It makes for a powerful photo, but what is the newsworthiness? Besides, you could get a photo like that at just about any funeral; it's the nature of the beast. The kid died - that story was newsworthy. That he was buried - not so much.
     
  7. ... and especially in this case. The mother is being hounded already be so many who heard about the story. So you feel the need to show her in her time of mourning?
     
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah, PC, that's how I would handle it and I figure his presence was authorized. But I don't know why he wouldn't mention that in the explanation -- or why, if he was authorized, an explanation would be necessary.
     
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The pain shown in that photo is unfathomable.
     
  10. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    Normally a two year old kid dying wouldn't really be public news but the kid died in a public place in a very unique and thus newsworthy way. The photog shouldn't be in the actual church unless authorized but he should damn well be at least outside the church getting photos. It is news, as sad as the death is.
     
  11. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Was the photog a distraction? Was the family angry?
     
  12. And honestly ... the lighting of the photo ... looks like he was outside the church.
     
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