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New York Post sensationalizes photo of man killed by subway train

By dpreview staff on Dec 4, 2012 at 20:25 GMT

A New York tabloid newspaper has caused controversy by publishing an image of a man about to be killed by a subway train on its front cover, along with a dramatic headline. The image shows a subway train bearing down on a man who'd been pushed into its path. The paper's handling of the story has been widely criticized and it raises a range of issues over the actions of all the parties involved. Journalism school The Poynter Institute has an interesting summary, separating the different aspects about a controversy that brings a lot of difficult questions about photojournalism and news reporting. What do you think?

We will not be re-publishing the paper's cover but you should be aware that the Poynter website does.

Comments

Total comments: 221
123
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Dec 5, 2012)

Methinks it has less to do with the photo and more to do with a bias against the Post.

5 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 5, 2012)

Would the photo have been fair game for criticism it published by another paper?
Unfortunately, the print media in general has suffered from a lot of negative "bias" in recent years. Circulationis down, and it's hard to make a buck, so the temptation to sensationalize will rise.

0 upvotes
kinnetics
By kinnetics (Dec 5, 2012)

Are you kidding me? Forget the photo and read the actual headline. It's completely tasteless and disrespectful. Any criticism against the Post is entirely justified.

2 upvotes
Bermota
By Bermota (Dec 5, 2012)

I think its a world press photo winner, just fantastic. It shows in one photo our internet voyeur culture... I always say(joking) to my daughter when she fall and hurt... you got to warn me first to give me time to get the camera.

And now that photographer will be rich and famous should pay a big pension for the rest of his life to the family of his photo subject.

A great photo but if I was the photographer I will be so a shame that I will never show it to anyone, don't even know if I could see it myself after thinking that maybe(just maybe) I could save the guy.

And its not the same that shooting war crimes, here he got 20 seconds to save the man and do nothing else than take a picture to show.

In my opinion this is a sad days for all photographers in the world, I'm an amateur but I don't want to be in the same "box" of Umar Abbasi. I will never be a pro if I need to act like him.

This is our world... better take one good photo than save a live :(

(Sorry for the poor english)

2 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Dec 5, 2012)

I've been looking though his portofolio. Damn, that nudity pictures are one of the most disgusting, uncharming and unsexy nude pics I've ever seen in my life.

I want to vomit.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Dec 5, 2012)

Why here?

0 upvotes
mmcfine
By mmcfine (Dec 5, 2012)

If it's OK to show war crimes on a daily basis then what's the problem? Kids today are more exposed to horror on daily news and social media so who cares about a horror photo on front page of a local newspaper.

4 upvotes
mingleby
By mingleby (Dec 5, 2012)

What the hell is this doing on the front page? Pretty much every major news story has a picture associated with it.

Does that mean DP review will be skipping camera reviews and news (which seems to be the case these days) and replacing it with every sensationalist tabloid headline that pops up? FFS...

2 upvotes
The A-Team
By The A-Team (Dec 5, 2012)

I enjoy this kind of coverage. News about photography, journalism, fine art, ethics, etc, as opposed to just GEAR, makes the site fresh.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (Dec 5, 2012)

seriously, he should have thought to walk to the next track if there is no train from the other direction.

1 upvote
matt4
By matt4 (Dec 5, 2012)

There's a line of steel columns dividing the tracks. Not sure if it's possible to squeeze through. He would have also had to jump over the third rail. I was thinking there might be a recess under the platform he could have dived into, or if not, he might have even laid down between the tracks. There may be enough ground clearance. Something to think about while you stand around waiting for a train. This guy was probably panicked. Honestly I'd rather get hit head on than get mangled between the platform and train like that.

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Dec 5, 2012)

That is it. I am deleting the link. I will go to DXo to get the lens reviews.
This used to be a good review site. Now? Not sure what it is. Except not for me.

4 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (Dec 5, 2012)

Eewwwwe. Close the door on the way out darling. And good luck with the confusion.

7 upvotes
misolo
By misolo (Dec 5, 2012)

Colbert made the plea, and the NY Post got right on the case:
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/421746/december-03-2012/the-word---base-instincts

0 upvotes
kiswani
By kiswani (Dec 5, 2012)

Why the person who took this image did not help him???? Man I am so angry, he should try to do something instead.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

Because he's not Superman and not faster than a speeding train? Many did try to help. The train just could not stop in time.

7 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (Dec 5, 2012)

Because a photojournalists job is to record images not put his cameras down and play doctor/policeman/nurses etc...

It's sometime a tough call

3 upvotes
lecoupdejarnac
By lecoupdejarnac (Dec 6, 2012)

No one seems to have posted this idea, so here it goes:

Maybe the photographer thought the man was going to make it out alive? He might've thought the man was going to pull himself up and wanted to catch a shot of the would-be narrow miss.

Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. He probably couldn't have done much anyways. The victim should've lied down in the depression between the tracks, there's plenty of clearance for the train to pass over safely if you do that.

0 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Dec 5, 2012)

Why is this item posted on the front page of DPR???

"Digital Photography Review" this place was once. To 'review' photography gear and not about who uses the stuff to make news. Times do change.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

Because some of us care as much about what we shoot and why as about what we shoot it with.

16 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Dec 5, 2012)

Go chase an ambulance then, Marc.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

The issue goes way beyond that trivial comment.

Go photograph a flower Ubilam.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Dec 5, 2012)

I'm not alone with what is wrong with this "news story"on this website, Gary. See above and below this post.

0 upvotes
cyainparadise
By cyainparadise (Dec 5, 2012)

The NY Post is owned by News Corporation, which part of Rupert Murdock's 'empire', so what do you expect?

6 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

It was lousy long before Rupert Murdoch took it over. Not that I'm the kind of person to defend him.

1 upvote
Inge
By Inge (Dec 5, 2012)

The photographer was probably in cooperation with the pusher in getting this "scoop". There is no bottom end to the inhumanity some humans are capable of.

2 upvotes
bodos
By bodos (Dec 5, 2012)

I'm a bit surprised that everyone is talking about the paper. How about the photographer? I think he should be prosecuted.
He flashed at the train? To blind the operator? Why not giving a hand or tell the man to get down on the tracks?
And then, he goes and gives the pics to the paper. No brains, no shame. Pure scum.

9 upvotes
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (Dec 5, 2012)

The photographers name was not Clark Kent nor was there a phone booth near by. The guy was DOOMED!

11 upvotes
bodos
By bodos (Dec 5, 2012)

I guess that's all an Ape with a camera can do.

2 upvotes
f8andshowup
By f8andshowup (Dec 5, 2012)

I think DP Review is way off-mission.

3 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

I don't. We've had a forum talking about this kind of stuff for a long time.

5 upvotes
mandm
By mandm (Dec 5, 2012)

The Minneapolis Minnesota Star/Trib newspaper (the largest in the state) use to print photos of traffic accidents with the dead person/persons in or near the car. They stopped doing in the mid 1960's. They did the same with shooting deaths.

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Dec 5, 2012)

Yes, many other papers elsewhere did the same.
People don't mind other people dying or suffering as long as they don't get to see it. That's the way the Stupidity propagates itself.

1 upvote
gonzalu
By gonzalu (Dec 5, 2012)

Do you expect any less from the worst tabloid on the planet? Shameful!

7 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Dec 5, 2012)

The paper is giving its readers what they want, which in New York is the most awful, grisly news possible. One of the most revered American photographers of all time was Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee—for more than 20 years his pictures captured the muggings, murders, and suicides in New York, America's most bloodthirsty metropolis.
So while it may offend the delicate sensibilities of the folks at the Poyter Institute, it's pretty much business as usual in New York newspapering. They're a breed apart there in Manhattan, they don't play by our rules and why should we expect them to?

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Dec 5, 2012)

+1.
We become so oversaturated with death scenes that every one of them seems like a part of some movie.
The only real trouble is the one that happens to us personally, and to many commenting here it's when they wake up and there's no milk in the fridge.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Funduro
By Funduro (Dec 5, 2012)

Part of the News Corpse. Same owners of Faux Noise Channel. Same owners of the News of the World.

10 upvotes
lmtfa
By lmtfa (Dec 7, 2012)

Speaking of faux, why do you use for your avatar the Afghan girl. Have you no ethics.

0 upvotes
MichaelK81
By MichaelK81 (Dec 5, 2012)

Well, it IS New York Post. They're like the tabloid version of NY Times. No moral ground, just sensationalist headlines. They'll print anything to sell a few extra copies.

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Dec 5, 2012)

No, they are not actually any version of NYT. They are a part of Republican propaganda machine - News Corp. But to keep the victims' attention, they have to provide some sensationalist material once in a while.

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (Dec 5, 2012)

The photographer's statement that he hoped the driver could see his flash - not realistic under the circumstances of a well lit subway station and an off-axis flash shot from within the well-lit area. Even if the engineer could see a signal from within the station, the signal would come too late to be able to stop a 100-ton object (train) moving at 10 mph when within sight of the station. The only thing that could have saved the victim would have been an pre-arrival attempt to get the victim to run down the track away from the oncoming train, or for a strong person or people to haul the victim on to the platform.

The main use of such a picture should be at the sentencing of the perp that pushed the victim on the tracks. I think that NYPost showed very bad judgement to publish the picture.

1 upvote
Priaptor
By Priaptor (Dec 5, 2012)

What has happened in the world today. If I wanted political commentary the last place I want to read about it is here. Just like I don't want to hear about gun control from Bob Costas or who should be president from a jerk like Charles Barkley while watching a basketball game.

If you want to make this a political forum as portrayed by photographs I have a lot to say, but I will hold my tongue

4 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

This is not about politics, except to the obsessed. It's about photographic/photojournalistic ethics. Some of us think they are important.

9 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (Dec 5, 2012)

Since when does ethics exist in today's world? Are you kidding me. Plus I remember a Pulitzer Prize being given to the photographer who caught a Vietnamese guy on his knees as his brains were being blown out.

Determining ethical standards is indeed politics and has nothing to do with "obsession"

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

"Determining ethical standards is indeed politics and has nothing to do with "obsession"

Nope. Ethics are not the virtue of any political side, although fanatics on both sides like to think they are.

3 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (Dec 5, 2012)

hence the reason it is political. Thank you for making my point

2 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Dec 5, 2012)

+1, Priaptor. I miss the old Dpreview. This is just mainstream drivel that they are posting now.

2 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 5, 2012)

I disagree.
Ethics has a place here. I can imagine photoethics.com wouldn't be frequently visited.
This article not about right vs. left, no matter what some of the comments have been.

1 upvote
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

I think I know what point Priaptor would like to make and I am not interested in it. He gives it away too easily.

I am, however , interested in photographers' ethics or lack of same. As well as in journalistic use of photographs. It is valid here.

Ethics exists independent of politics. And often in opposition to it. Sorry, but it does.

1 upvote
Tape5
By Tape5 (Dec 5, 2012)

The fact that this photographer could do no more to help the poor guy does not give him the right to get creative.

1 upvote
bodos
By bodos (Dec 5, 2012)

he recorded the argument that led to the tragedy. I think he had plenty of time to act differently.

0 upvotes
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (Dec 5, 2012)

Any idea what camera was used Canon or Nikon?

3 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Dec 5, 2012)

2 different things:

A - thanks to dpreview staff for bringing some "tragic humaness" into the accepted everyday tech-flood (despite asimov, machines don't have souls). Do - search - more - deeper!!! please

B - Several questions wander my mind, would it have been such a fuzz over a kindness gest/act? would have dpreview "care" to bring it in? why is NY Post view of humanity's footprint so bad...? why are we so afraid and at the same time attracted to death? is it "the others" death less scary? why? does it work as a catharsis? what's empathy? is, cynically, more tragic because of the fact that was publish?
what's truth? what's the truth? do we want it or do we make it? why is the story focused ONLY on the victim? why did NY Post felt it was good for its readers and the rest of the world SUCH A SENSE OF HOPELESNESS?!!! is sensationalism newspapers' porn?...

enough

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

Well, there actually has been such a fuss over an act of kindness, and in New York, as in the image of the cop who gave a "homeless" man a pair of shoes. Interestingly, there was more to that image than met the eye. The homeless guy wasn't homeless, and pretty swiftly sold/lost/hid the boots and is still wandering around shoeless.

2 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Dec 5, 2012)

well, I guess that answers EVERYTHING... thank you GaryJP

0 upvotes
Digetydog
By Digetydog (Dec 5, 2012)

I think the picture was fine, but the headline was over the top and offensive. It reads like a "joke" and it certainly isn't funny.

Note - I am a NY Post subscriber (iPad Version). One of the controversies was the photographer's decision to take photos instead of rescuing the man. From what I have heard and read, I don't think a rescue was possible (by the photographer).

3 upvotes
Fleabag
By Fleabag (Dec 4, 2012)

I really have mixed feelings about seeing this sort of thing covered by DPR. I can see why you did it, but it makes me feel like I am reading some kind of gossip rag.

2 upvotes
jimrb67
By jimrb67 (Dec 4, 2012)

Look at past Pulitzer Prize winning photos and you'll find other photographs that are in the same category - death, near-death, aftermath. In all probability, those photos were probably run in your preferred newspaper, magazine or tabloid. NY Post, NY Times, The Podunk Gazette.....don't single out any one publisher like they are the only ones to have done it.

5 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Dec 5, 2012)

Agree. The link is to a picture by Eddie Adams (AP)

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/lm12.html

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 4, 2012)

I remember one of Robert Capa's two most famous photographs was of a man in the Spanish Civil War supposedly at the moment of death, although there were controversies over whether it was staged. Last week, I saw a photograph of a body being dragged through Palestinian streets behind a motorbike. Decades ago one of the most famous photographs of Vietnam showed a man about to be shot in the head. I also can't forget the entire career of the superb Weegee. And how many images of dying children in Ethiopia? This is a disturbing photograph, but I think we really have to ask ourself why we consider it different. Just because it's too close to home? The controversy raises disturbing questions to me about why death and poverty are fine in our images only as long as they happen on the other side of our world. The Post also showed the man who killed him, and I have to give them kudos for that.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
17 upvotes
MisaelGmx
By MisaelGmx (Dec 5, 2012)

Here's my take:

All those images reflect on bigger issues than the subject directly pictured on the photograph; reporting on war, hunger and violent conflicts involving whole countries.

This has nothing to do with "hitting close to home": there are hundreds of shocking 9/11 photographs with similar deeper subjects than the immediate image.

Photos that work as reflections on wider issues borrow the concrete nature of what's directly in front of the lens to illustrate them.

This image doesn't speak to anything beyond an exploitative urge to sell newspapers at the expense of a man's horror, and his family's grief.

4 upvotes
Asianlight
By Asianlight (Dec 5, 2012)

+1 GaryJP. Well thought, well said.

1 upvote
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

"This image doesn't speak to anything beyond an exploitative urge to sell newspapers at the expense of a man's horror, and his family's grief."

To me it does. To you it doesn't. So it goes.

Not that I approve of the front page treatment. But I don't understand why pictures of people just after they are dead are fine, but not a few seconds before. Maybe you should live in a big city with lunatics, and you'd know better what this speaks to.

3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

"All those images reflect on bigger issues than the subject directly pictured on the photograph; reporting on war, hunger and violent conflicts involving whole countries."

I think that's just self-justification for prurience about the "other" that you don't apply at home. You don't need to see a man dying to tell you men die in war. You just want to. But you don't want to see a subway accident that's close to home.

What many people are missing here is the power of this photograph. And that is entirely to do with the timing. Not the death. Not the tragedy. But that every moment we look at this image we are looking at a frozen moment we cannot affect. And that is a photographic lesson, whether some like it or not.

2 upvotes
adhemar
By adhemar (Dec 4, 2012)

Way to go, dPreview. Link to the pic and get more clicks. Don't forget to sound outraged.

13 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 4, 2012)

Nice try, but there aren't actual prizes for most cynical comment.

It was a widely-discussed story we thought our readers would be interested in. We've tried to report it in a neutral and responsible manner. Please highlight the point at which we express outrage.

22 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (Dec 4, 2012)

> there aren't actual prizes for most cynical comment

There aren't any actual prizes for the most predictable answer either.

Like it or not, you did promote NYP, and did get few extra clicks in the process. Adhemar simply pointed that out; don't know why you got... well, angry.

> Please highlight the point at which we express outrage.

He just suggested next logical step for you. Which you may or may not want to take next time, of course... This should depend on how your crowd reacts to the news item in question. Just watch the trend and you'll always be in black (speaking of accounting books).

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

If you read the Open Talk forum you will see that this kind of topic often comes up for discussion. It's valid to discuss it here. How many photographers in these forums, if they visited Tibet, would be delighted to photograph a sky burial? Why would they not be as delighted (and oblivious) to photograph a burial at home? Why do the mourners' feelings matter in one situation but not another? And how many photographers are proud of their images of snot-nosed undereducated children shot in Asia, which they could have shot as easily in their own city if they really tried? Did you, by the way, see the images of Qaddafi's murder? And, if we are going to discuss this, we should see the images. Although many people on the internet love it, arguing from ignorance is not a virtue.

7 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Dec 5, 2012)

These guys from DPR simply can't take any criticism anymore or am I tripping? Despite being wrong or right, take it easy.

7 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

Well, responding to inane comments is understandable, although - as a website administrator myself - I realise it's like banging your head against a brick wall, so I know where DPReview is coming from.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
vadims
By vadims (Dec 5, 2012)

Gary, what about setting standards?

I, personally, responded to two things: condescending reply to adhemar, and promotion of NYP, from which the farther DPR stays the better. I wouldn't go as far as saying guys at NYP would push someone under train to take a good shot, but they are not that far from it, unfortunately.

Or take a look at your own comment. Could you get your point across without that "arguing from ignorance"? Yes, knowing you're site administrator buys you some understanding here, but still...

P.S. "Did you, by the way, see the images of Qaddafi's murder?" Yes I did; those and many others. And had people dying on my hands. But I'm not commenting on any of that here; see above.

1 upvote
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Dec 5, 2012)

Sorry, but I don't see how you can take a position on that photo and front page without seeing it. That's what "argument from ignorance" means.

2 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (Dec 6, 2012)

Marc, I specifically stated that I only commented on two things, and that particular photo itself was *not* one of them. As to the front page of NYP, who has seen one pile of cr@p, seen them all.

But you, Marc, made me actually go and have a look at the picture. And guess what -- it is 10x worse than I thought it was. In every respect. The photographer must be tried for letting the poor guy die. Moreover, if that Ki Suk Han was a celebrity, I am positive Abbasi would not only be tried, but actually jailed.

I honestly fail to see how can anyone defend this photographer. Sad, sad, sad...

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Dec 4, 2012)

How do you think the man's family would feel seeing that image. Shame on you NYP.

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 4, 2012)

He's already dead and they know he was run over by a train, so they would probably feel about the same. It's not like they showed the aftermath.

2 upvotes
mrxak
By mrxak (Dec 5, 2012)

I can't speak for them, but if I were in their situation I'd be offended by the headline, not offended by the photograph. I think I would want to see the photograph. I think I would want to have as many photographs as possible to help me make sense of it and to see him one last time. I wouldn't want to see an after photo, but in this, the person is still alive.

I'm just speaking for myself, here, as somebody who has had people in his family die too young. I have a photograph of one of them, at the end, and it doesn't bother me to see it. I wish I had a photograph of somebody else in my family who died much more suddenly.

1 upvote
Timbo2013
By Timbo2013 (Dec 4, 2012)

I have zero interest in seeing such images and neither should any other right minded person. But (sigh) we live in a world where right minded is a matter of opinion to those with such a mind. To be faced with an image like this without actively seeking it would upset me and disturb me.

1 upvote
Ahmet Aydogan
By Ahmet Aydogan (Dec 4, 2012)

I completely respect your wishes not to see such images. I vehemently disagree with your opinion regarding anyone else's access to such images. Finally, I am appalled at your characterization that any who disagrees with you is not "right" minded.

14 upvotes
PanErwin
By PanErwin (Dec 5, 2012)

Tim: Obviously you have a problem here. You have ethics.

By looking at the "likes" to your post and replies, a large majority of viewers find interest in looking at this picture.

Really, what is the INTEREST you find in this image?

I have an answer: let's find ways to make this impossible. In a nearby city, the subways are accessible only through doors that open after the cars have stopped. The platform is isolated from the tracks with a plexiglass wall, and the wagons stop precisely so that the plexi doors and wagons doors are aligned.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 4, 2012)

Equipment reviews, anyone?

10 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 4, 2012)

Pat, change the record... if you seriously think a front page piece like this in any way challenges the production of camera reviews then let me reassure you on that point. It does not.

17 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 5, 2012)

I know where I went wrong. It was the sarcastic wisecrack. I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. [This is NOT an ironic remark.]

0 upvotes
johnduncan
By johnduncan (Dec 4, 2012)

How do we feel about the falling man?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Man

(EDIT - apologies, I didn't see WAH ask more or less the same question)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
WAH
By WAH (Dec 4, 2012)

What is the difference between this and the Twin World Trade Towers burning and the collapsing? Every news service run video and pictures of the planes flying into the towers and the horrific sight of the buildings falling with so many lives still inside. Very tragic in either case.

2 upvotes
tlinn
By tlinn (Dec 4, 2012)

There is an easy and obvious difference. First and most obvious, no reporter or news anchor was in a position to stop that tragedy. In this situation, the photog had the time to capture multiple, perfectly composed images in lieu of trying to help the victim. Just because he was guaranteed success doesn't excuse him for not trying.

Second, the World Trade Center attack was an event with worldwide relevance. This story would not be on the front page without the picture of a man about to die. It has no other relevance beyond that (except to his family and loved ones).

4 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 4, 2012)

Can't agree with you TLinn. It would not resonate so strongly with us if it did not have "relevance". I'd question its use as a full page front page image, but we have seen so much "tourism" death in photographs that it seems wrong just to hate this because it strikes closer to home. I'd probably not be against publishing it, smaller, in an article. I don't like the front page treatment. But it sells the awful rag I suppose.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Dec 4, 2012)

Par for the course for Murdoch, News Corp and the Post.

1 upvote
Michael49
By Michael49 (Dec 4, 2012)

Just think how you would feel if this were your husband / wife that ended up on the cover? Publishing this story is journalism, publishing this photo (especially with the headline they chose) is pure sensationalism.

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 4, 2012)

I honestly don't know. What would my first impulse be? Would I get pulled onto the tracks? Do I keep my distance hiding behind my camera? Go for fame? Play the hero?

Conflicted!

1 upvote
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Dec 4, 2012)

Awful scene. Publishing it is in bad taste, but that's often what readers buy. Republishing it seems to extend the reach of the Post, which is unfortunate.

1 upvote
Vibrio
By Vibrio (Dec 4, 2012)

The problem is the headline not the image

why is there no person near him trying to help - seems very odd

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 4, 2012)

Possibly because the demented street vendor who had pushed him onto the tracks was standing there watching. However I do question the photographer's claim that he was running as he took these pictures.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 4, 2012)

Now that the phone tapping has been exposed, he needs something new and this should do nicely. Stay classy, Rupert.

2 upvotes
Boris
By Boris (Dec 4, 2012)

If you are a photographer you take the shot.

2 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Dec 4, 2012)

So, if you see a man fall into a river, holding onto a tree branch for dear life, just minutes away from being swept down stream to certain death. What do you do?
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Do you keep shooting in color, or do you switch to black and white?

2 upvotes
elihu252
By elihu252 (Dec 4, 2012)

well being that you can do black and white in post...

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 5, 2012)

Well, JordanAT, the answer is "it depends." I would probably take a quick look at whether I could successfully rescue. In many river situations of that type, I could not. And I'm not even including the fact that I can't swim.

Just the other day I read a news story (I can provide links upon request)...a family dog was pulled into the sea by powerful waves.

The teenage son went to rescue the dog, and so did his father. His father disappeared under the water, so it is reasonable to think that you must rescue. So the mother came out to join the son to find the missing man.

Now, those three family members are dead. Drowned. The dog got out on his own...he never actually needed the rescue. The correct response would have been "Do not attempt rescue." Not that any of them could have known that, of course.

It isn't always worth the trade-off. There are too many stories of people trying to rescue when they only put themselves at risk, and families missing too many loved ones because of it.

2 upvotes
Ahmet Aydogan
By Ahmet Aydogan (Dec 4, 2012)

Death is the inevitable culmination of life. The feigned sensibilities of those who have an "ethical" argument against the display of death or imminent death reflects their own discomfort with this indisputable fact.

4 upvotes
mrxak
By mrxak (Dec 5, 2012)

Considering death's importance to life, I think we do ourselves a disservice not documenting it thoroughly. The only thing offensive about this NY Post front page is the headline, not the image.

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 4, 2012)

To fault the photographer is rash and unfair. The published picture suggest that there was no way anyone, other than maybe Clark Kent, could have bounded onto the tracks, stopped the train, and hoisted the man to safety. Observers could have thought (or hoped) that an alarm had signaled the train to stop. The insufficient deceleration may become apparent only too late to act. Until the train approached (and we don't know the time sequence), any observer might have thought the victim could climb out unassisted, for perhaps fear that the victim and assailant were embroiled in some nefarious matter. How many people, witnessing an act of violence, instantly approach and take sides?

It is for good reason that Common Law recognizes no crime of "failure to rescue or help."

The publisher, on the other hand, is doing what is always done to sell copy. It's a sure bet the day's circulation will soar. Pictures and the story of the assailant, if captured will also grab attention.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Dec 4, 2012)

It is disrespectful to this man's family to publish this photo.

6 upvotes
landscaper1
By landscaper1 (Dec 4, 2012)

This front page picture has no redeeming social value.

The N.Y. Post itself has no redeeming social value.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 4, 2012)

Simple, elegant.

0 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (Dec 4, 2012)

Some of the most famous pictures captured (and published) are quite gruesome. How is this one different?

The photographer was not in a position to pull the man from the tracks in any case.

What would heve been reprehensible is if anyone, including the photographer, failed to help when they could have.

Certainly a hard thing for the family to see.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Dec 4, 2012)

At the time of the photo the vantage point of the "photographer" is substantially closer to the victim than the rest of the people at the terminal.

THIS is why I will never step in to the realm of pro photography. Putting your job before human life makes a person about as worthless as it gets.

6 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Dec 4, 2012)

"THIS is why I will never step in to the realm of pro photography. Putting your job before human life makes a person about as worthless as it gets."

I fail to see the logic in this statement. Most pro photographers will NEVER encounter this situation, it's more likely that an amateur photographer will. It's not the job description, a professional horticulturist with an iPhone could have done the same thing.

6 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Dec 4, 2012)

Upon looking at the photographer's portfolio I'd hesitate to even call him a "pro photographer".

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 4, 2012)

Yes, his photographs generally seem appallingly bad. Every one of them would be in my rejects folder.

1 upvote
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Dec 4, 2012)

Well, it's not the first news image of a person about to die, or dying, or freshly-dead. Off the top of my head I can think of the suicide woman who fell on the car; the other woman who died in the car crash, with vivid blonde hair; the Viet Cong; the electricity worker; the Republican volunteer etc.

They all had one thing in common, which is that they sold newspapers. Because people want to see the moment of death. It's dramatic and unusual, they want to see the exact moment that the bullet strikes. The terror in the faces of the dying. People love that kind of thing, it generates income, pageviews.

2 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (Dec 4, 2012)

That is an explanation but not a justification.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 4, 2012)

Justification? Sure enough there is.

People have an insatiable urge to contemplate or mourn losses.

Isn't there a group that venerates images of a Man enduring gruesome pain of death? They believe the act redeemed all, and that there is no justification save by accepting its meaning.

1 upvote
elihu252
By elihu252 (Dec 4, 2012)

'justification' is a relative term. Is it legally justifiable? Well yeah. People will always argue on weather it's morally justifiable though. Nothing new here.

0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (Dec 4, 2012)

At Cy: Yes, and as you say "there is a justification" - it is their pretended justification and not a morally to be accepted, i.e. a "justified" one.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Dec 5, 2012)

Do a Google image search on "Dying Child and Vulture" and then tell me why this is more/less moral.

0 upvotes
Euchrow
By Euchrow (Dec 5, 2012)

Gary, all the examples you give (VC execution, 9/11, kid with vulture) are situations where the photo serves a purpose because it depicts a situation like war or famine. It's relevant to the world, that's why it's called photojournalism. If there was an ongoing problem with people being pushed on the tracks of the NY subway, then this photo would be relevant. Now it's not.

I can't really understand why you clearly think the photographer is a scumbag (he is), yet keep on defending the fact that the photo got published. Make up your mind.

And by the way, the photographer who took that shot with the vulture committed suicide because he coudn't stand the memories of all the things he had seen.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (Dec 5, 2012)

At Gary: I did. Why would someone put the finger on the sore and not stretch out a helping hand?

We are all sorts of humans -an explanation but not a justification.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Asylum Photo
By Asylum Photo (Dec 4, 2012)

The most damning thing is the photographer taking a picture instead of trying to save a life. I don't buy the whole "I popped my flash to slow the train down" bit. Maybe this is why I could never be a photojournalist. Given the choice between stepping into the scene and doing good, vs capturing the scene, I'd choose the former every time.

0 upvotes
foot
By foot (Dec 4, 2012)

don't jump on the tracks. Besides getting hit
by a train ppl can easily be electricuted by touching
the third rail

the photographer probably would have died trying
to save his life.

here's a case of a rescue that worked, but if
it hadn't the two childern would have been
fatherless, and had a bad traumatic experiense

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/nyregion/03life.html?ei=5090&en=bfb239e4fab06ab5&ex=1325480400&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1167926444-QB1QoXwr/W03DnBYsNU7tQ

0 upvotes
GarageBoy
By GarageBoy (Dec 4, 2012)

The dude was pushed...

1 upvote
Digetydog
By Digetydog (Dec 5, 2012)

Foot: Not only was he pushed, he was pushed trying to protect other people from a deranged man. If you haven't been on a NYC subway, there have been other instances of nutjobs pushing people onto the track.

While not common, I always try to watch what is going on around me to protect myself from the risk. BUT - it isn't easy in a crowded subway.

1 upvote
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (Dec 4, 2012)

ahh the Murdoch press, the press that hacks into murdered childrens voice mails for a story.

Considering the tog was running at the train firing his flash, it seems very well composed and focused. Gutter journalism.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

As a New Yorker, the Post has never been shy about printing sensational headlines. It's about the most classless rag in the world. Imagine how the family of the victim feels. Apparently the Post has not empathy for anyone.

1 upvote
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