Photojournalism and Ethics - Research Paper Example

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The underlying social order of any given society reflects the different ways of life encompassed therein. For this reason, global diversity is deeply rooted in the social differentials that define the many…
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Photojournalism and Ethics
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Photojournalism and Ethics Affiliation: Social settings around the world exhibit diverse and dynamic aspects. The underlying social order of any given society reflects the different ways of life encompassed therein. For this reason, global diversity is deeply rooted in the social differentials that define the many regions that constitute the world. In so doing, what is perceived to be ethical in one region is not necessary so in another within the same global system. The ethicality of any given matter is influenced by the acting forces, actions, or reactions subject to the goals and objectives being pursued.
Lewkowicz’s project is set in the social context. It touches on an issue that many people ought to be silent about; domestic violence. Violence in the relationship context elicits mixed reactions whenever a case goes public. Lewkowicz’s project is undertaken at a personal level and presented to the public. It is also backed up by a professional player, which is Lewkowicz. In the process, the project raises a number of ethical issues.
Lewkowicz’s involvement in family matters is undertaken within a framework that goes beyond the underlying professional goals. While the primary goal is to practice photojournalism, Lewkowicz seems to go too much into detail when interacting with the couple. The applicable aspect of photojournalism in making private follow-ups relative to the project raised ethical eyebrows. Over and above this, Lewkowicz’s conduct when the physical violence starts between the couple is ethically questionable. In other words, there seems to be a broken line between the provisions of practicing photojournalism and the manner in which Lewkowicz handled domestic violence right in her presence.
A critical ethical concern arises relative to the motive behind documenting Shane and Maggie. The couple is undoubtedly going through the many marriage challenges experienced by other couples all over the world. From an ethical point of view, is Lewkowicz really into what she claims or is she making a name for herself through the couple? The personal-professional-documentation factor combination leaves so much to be desired in terms of Lewkowicz’s interest in a specific couple’s case of domestic violence.
In the light of the events that unfolded between Maggie and Shane, Lewkowicz cannot be said to have acted ethically. Her main interest in the project is heavily built on results and outcomes. In other words, she is trying to answer the question: What happened next and what was the implication? For this reason, she primarily concentrates on practicing her photojournalism, whether or not this is done ethically. In the whole project, she has not demonstrated any important move that could be said to have improved the situations she has dealt with as she takes her photographs.
Lewkowicz’s project exhibits a point of connection with Gitlin (1980) and Schwartz (1992) discussions. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) is the primary factor upon which Gitlin’s discussion is based. On the other hand, Schwartz looks into the different sides and perspectives of photojournalism. Just like the SDS, Lewkowicz’s project is set in the societal context. Extremism, deviance, and dangerous activities are presented by both Lewkowicz and Gitlin. On the other hand, Schwartz presents the fact that Lewkowicz’s point of view in practicing photojournalism in the family setting is not necessarily shared by the targeted audience.
Gitlin, T. (1980). The Whole World is Watching: Mass Media in the Making & Unmaking of the New Left. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Schwartz, D. (1992). “To Tell the Truth: Codes of Objectivity in Photojournalism”. Communication, 13:95-109. Read More
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