Sunday, January 24, 2010

STAY AWAKE! Citizen Journos Are Everywhere!

A PUBLIC TRANSIT passenger in Toronto snapped a photo of a transit worker snoozing in a ticket booth, and then posted the image to TwitPic.

The image soon became news fodder - it symbolized rider frustration over fare increases and questionable service.

A transit worker union official was upset that the photographer didn't stop to see if the transit worker was fine - or even alive.

Is it responsible for journalists to use this image in newspapers or on television? Without knowing the situation that the image was taken - for instance, whether the transit worker was just in a moment of rest or in a full-fledged nap - what should journalists do with the image?

Would you have run the picture?

20 comments:

Joe said...

I see a sleeping ticket taker and I don't waste time, taking a photo; I hop the turnstile.

Angelique said...

Joe makes a good point. I would definitely run the story.

Gillian Francella said...

I would run the picture. Is it right to not have the story and make something up?- no. Is it right to use the picture as a symbol of what makes people angry?- yes. Besides, it was published to 19 million people on the network, why not more?

kristengilmore said...

I would have run the picture. It appears, to me at least, that the worker is pretty much in a full fledged nap and not really performing his duties as a worker. Maybe if I was the photographer I would have checked to make sure if he was all right, but not until after I had snapped it.

Pseudo said...

It does appear he is in a full-fledged nap. Since I didn't take the picture, I guess I will never know but i definitely would have used it. If it symbolizes their worries and frustrations its newsworthy, especially with all the buzz its getting.

Alana Turchi said...

Being a daily Septa rider, and having to go through their strike this November-which was hell-I would have run the picture. I guess that makes me bias, but if the journalist digs deeper into this it would make for a very interestng story.

Jessie Fox said...

If I was the journalist, I think that I would've taken the picture and then after I would make sure the man was alright. If he was just sleeping on the job, then I would run it. I feel like it is something for the public to see. I'm sure enough people passing through already saw him sleeping anyway, it was his fault making it public before it would be the journalist's. I wouldn't intentionally try to embarass the man or risk his job, but I feel like his job is more important than for him to be sleeping in the first place.

Rick Kauffman said...

Septa's strike and demand for increased rates was the most newsworthy thing to happen in Philadelphia in the last months (as well as every 3 years, but that's another rant for another time). But, the fact that this gent shows what our tax dollars are going to absolutely make it newsworthy.

I took a similar picture, unfortunately it's too dark to see, but I witnessed a Septa bus driver texting while driving with passengers heading westbound on the Schuykill Expressway. More than a few laws were being broken there, I'm sure.

Ed Robinson said...

This picture is vague and there could be numerous truths to why he is sleeping. Unless you're willing to walk up and disturb his rest it's just an opportunity to snap a photo and to create a "truth" behind it.

It was just a photo taken by a random person, I personally wouldn't have put the photo out because my story behind it wouldn't have been truth.

Rachel Stumpo said...

Not without more information on it. Taking an unflattering picture and writing a story on it that may or may not be true makes you no better than a trashy tabloid.

melanie roxanne said...

First of all, a transit worker should never doze off while working because who knows what could happen to him. And second, even though he looks like he's sleeping someone should at least make sure that he's not passed out and make sure he's okay. But run the picture because no worker should be doing this ever especially in this kind of job

M. Mendez said...

I would definitley run the story. I mean yes they could have tried to waken him up and find out if he was just tired, dead/alive, or hey even narcoleptic...why not. But even without finding out the status of the seemingly sleeping transit worker, a story is definitely still there. Even a double sided story that gives multiple options as to what could have actually been the case. A story that half rebukes the transit worker's actions and the other half being wary that maybe the transit worker was sick or even dead. That way it gives the reader more room for imagination ...AND it gives the photographer a free subway ride.


-M. Mendez

Jess Lopez said...

I would have absolutely ran this story. His open mouth and the way his body is positioned indicates that he is definitely enjoying a relaxing nap. I cannot imagine that someone who passed out would be leaning slightly back in their chair and somehow manage to keep their hands posed on top of their stomach. And how exactly did the union official know that the man who took this picture didn't knock on the window before or after taking the picture? I think our human instincts can tell when someone is in trouble, and when someone is taking a power nap.
If anything, I would hold onto the photo and investigate the story further before running with it. I might be inclined to visit the same station and observe the transit worker again.

Anonymous said...

I would run the picture of this transit worker. He shouldn't be sleeping on the job like a bus driver shouldn't be drinking on the job. It shows the truth about the service transit customers are receiving. This workers just mad he got caught.

Laura Rasmussen said...

...^^that was my comment :)..oops

Brian Okum said...

If I was bored enough to run it, it would not be for anything serious. It could so easily (and probably was) taken out of context. The guy fell asleep, so what!

Berryman, A said...

Thinking this was funny, I would have done the same twit pic it, not thinking anything of it. But I feel like running this photo could have been somewhat of trashy tabloid, but I could understand why I journalist would write about it. You have a man who is clearly sleeping on his job, when he should have been alert.

Brian Okum said...

How would this be ran as a story?
"Transit worker dozes on tax dollars"
Would that be the headline? Sounds more like a chance to blackmail the transit company than to do justice. Sure he should have been awake, but tell me you've never messed up in worse ways on the job, probably without a photographer to report you.

Parissa said...

would TOTALLY run this! the man is sleeping on the job for goodness sakes and if people are already pissed that transit workers are displaying questionable service than yes yes yes to running this. I'm positive that not just this particular person who took this picture are unsatisfied with the service so by running this picture, it brings people together with similar feelings about this particular topic. It is OBVIOUSLY a problem, hence the picture, so why not run it?
-Parissa Zecher

Sam Kelly said...

When a man sleep on the job that seems to be a cause for alarm. Whose paying him? When a man sleeps on the job, I'd run with it. However the circumstances of this photograph should be made clear.