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A PHOTO IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

ImageThey say a photo is worth a thousand words but only one is needed to sum up my feelings about the ‘Doomed’ photograph in the December issue of the New York Post and that word is: ugh. 

R. Umar Abbasi is the photographer who managed to capture Ki Suk Han being violently pushed onto the train tracks of the 49th street station by Naeem Davis. This photograph was later published on the front page of the New York Post with the headlines: ‘Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die: DOOMED’. Much of the controversy in the aftermath centred on Abbasi taking photographs rather than saving the man, but in my opinion, there should be just as much (if not more) blame thrust onto the papers for buying and running the photograph in the first place, and with those headlines no less! To add insult to injury, they did not even contact the victim’s family before running it.

It is not to say that I think Abbasi should be completely blameless, but that the New York Post has a lot more responsibility over the situation. As a form of media, they are expected to uphold certain ethics and standards when it comes to journalism. Abbasi has no control over what goes on the front page of paper. He is not a staff member. That is the decision made solely at discretion of the editor of the New York Post. And so if there must be someone who should take the brunt of turning a tragedy into a hyped up, gruesome news story, it should be the Post

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