Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston: a watershed moment for western reportage

Has war and terror reportage in the west finally caught up with the non-west?

Photograph by John Tlumacki

There have been journalists on the streets of war zones cameras at the ready waiting to take photographs of the dead and injured for nearly a hundred years and since the war in Vietnam and Nick Ut’s photograph of the girl running away from a napalm attack we have been used to seeing magazines like LIFE and TIME or broadsheet newspaper editorials on how wars in the Middle East, Africa and beyond are progressing, all with the aid of carefully selected photographs showing relatives crying over a dead loved one or civilians covered in blood running through smoke filled streets. But until now these photographs have never been taken in the west, let alone plastered on the front pages of newspapers.

Why? Because photojournalists have never before been on the streets as the event is happening. The west lives in a place in which it can feel safe that a journalistic story worth photographing is not going to happen at any moment. So the war reporters are elsewhere.

This is now changing.
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