unit 3 assignment 3, sode smith

As Sontag puts it, the camera has an increasing ability to be able to capture history’s gruesome moments and today’s media is able to spread these shocking images with increasing speed. Because of this, we, the audience, are able to take into account the atrocities of war with a certain easiness since these images are so readily available. However, sometimes people are unable to empathize since these ungodly atrocities are happening so far away. Sontag also writes about how the media likes to exhibit the horrors of violence and pain happening in third world countries (mostly about thos with “darker complexions in exocitic countires”). For some reason, the audience is more drawn to these exocitic images and they inspire a sense of compassion and connection with those who are different from us — in a way this allows us to see the humanity in everyone. However, photography also allows the audience to see themselves as superior to those who the photos are being taken of because these pictures cannot help but “nourish belief in the inevitability of tragedy in the benighted or backwards — that is, poor — parts of the world (71). So, when Gourevitch is discussing how the media spread images of dogs eating the corpses on the sides of the road, this is just a highlight of how the media spreads these images and tries to create a sense of empathy between use and those being photographed. Also, Gourevitch relates to the Sontag reading because it shows that the phrase “if it bleeds, it leads” is correct. Sontag and Gourevitch both emphasize this point that photographers and the media is mostly concerned with drawing people’s attention and doesn’t necessarily have the victims interests in heart. So, people will take these gruesome images and present them to the public, solely to get attention. However, the press does do some good things with these images since it calls attention to the atrocities at hand. But, as always, the media makes things come across in “two ways” and its up to the general perception of the public to use the images at hand and press to make their own views on the issue.

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