Monday, February 8, 2010

Is it Acceptable to Learn About Covering Tragedy in the Middle of a Tragedy?

A PHOTOJOURNALIST NAMED Zoriah is offering a specialized photojournalism workshop next month - in Haiti, where an earthquake recently devastated the country.

"Subjects covered will be working in disaster zones and other difficult and dangerous situations, survival and logistics in difficult environments, photograph people, working with NGO's (Non Governmental Organizations) and aid organizations, editing and digital darkroom technique and marketing and making your stories available for the world to see," according to Zoriah's website.

Half of the $4,000 tuition will be donated to an organization in Haiti.

Is there anything wrong with running this program? Is it a good thing?

19 comments:

Jessie Fox said...

I think that overall, this could be a good program. It gets people involved and reveals the reality of the disaster. I feel that for people to understand they need to see. All though this is a tragedy, the truth can not be hidden. People need to know what's going on even though photos and stories will delineate the hardships the people in Hati are facing. Some photos may be harsh, but its the truth of the matter. It is a way for it to be documented and remembered, even if it is a negative thing.

Peter Dalmasy said...

I do not find anything wrong with the program. It may be a little disturbing to show some of the images from the natural disaster that happened in Haiti just a month ago. I think it is always important to provide awareness for matters such as these. The earthquake has been a blessing and a curse to the Haitian community because for a long time (my parents hail from the neighboring Dominican Republic, I know, not even being pretentious about this) Haiti has been often overlooked in regards to service outside of several Catholic charities that send help frequently. I think that the earthquake has brought much more much-needed attention and funds to the poorest country in the western hemisphere (please correct me, if I am wrong).

It is programs like these and many others that are just setting on the same mission: helping Haiti.

Dawana said...

The idea of learning about a tragedy while a tragedy is still in play is a great idea. I feel that people never know or understand how real something is until they witness it for themselves. If I had the chance to take this course I would jump right into it. The work that people will produce will show true passion and emotions because they witness it everyday. I see no harm in learning about the tragedy and living it.

Katherine Carpenter said...

This is a very good idea, we had a similar attitude with 9/11. We did not prevent documentaries/continued news coverage to show during the time of healing. I remember in my elementary school how they talked to us about it after. In the middle of a tragedy, you don't want the facts to get morphed and twisted.

Anonymous said...

Please note all above comments came from the same IP address

Anonymous said...

I would like to know where you see the same IP address .

Lorraine S. Patterson said...

it raises $ for Haiti, therefore it is a good thing. It raises public awareness of the state of Haiti, therefore it is another good thing.

Jess Lopez said...

I think that when a tragedy, such as the earthquake in Haiti, is still raw and new, that is the perfect time for journalists to do their work. Their job is to deliver what is happening in Haiti to the rest of the world in a way they can understand the disaster and let them know how to help. It isn't just about showing gruesome images and re-telling what occurred but how to help the Haitian population. Writing an article about the helplessness of Haiti does not have the same impact that a picture can have on a person. I think this program is definitely a good thing because it is teaching aspiring journalists to be well rounded and preparing them for if they should ever have to cover a natural disaster.

Wafai Dias said...

Yes, It can help them get through the tragedy. There was a girl in Palestine that was nine years old. Her father was shot and killed right in front of her face by an Israeli Soldier. Ever since that moment she stopped speaking and said that she just wanted to die just like her father. Then a Palestinian man that supports the better upbringing of kids gave her a camera and told her to take a photo of the things she experienced. Through this she was finally able to live again and thrive. Photography is a way of expressing yourself to get through some of the most devastating moments in your life. That being said I fully support documenting a tragedy like Haiti.

Casey Carden said...

Zoriah seems opportunistic and heartless. Yes, he is donating half of the proceeds, but the other half are going in HIS pocket. At what point did it become okay to exploit extreme human suffering to "hone your talents"?

Gillian Francella said...

I don't know about this...
I feel like it takes advantage of a terrible situation.

Dan P. said...

I don't think anyone interested in doing the workshop should have to pay $4000 so that half of it can be donated. The people most likely to do this workshop are aspiring, not professional, photojournalists and if that's anything like being a college student, I doubt they can really afford to donate $2000. It might be better to have those involved do some kind of service while they're down there or something like that.

Aside from that, I think the idea behind the workshop is a good one. Yes, Zoriah is probably going to profit from it, but that's the world we live in.

Berryman, A said...

The fact that some of the profit is going to Haiti and the victims of the tragedy that happened in Haiti actually makes it a positive.

Brian Okum said...

Isn't the middle of a tragedy the only time one can learn to function in one?

I see the negative picture this paints though... foreign students learning while natives are simply struggling to find shelter and food. I don't think Zoriah's program will be like that though. It says they'll have minimal living conditions; plus it seems directed toward helping Haiti as well.

alessandralaura said...

I think that anything that brings more money into the economy in Haiti is good for the country. Also, more coverage in Haiti will not only bring more help with the aftermath of the earthquake, but hopefully also awareness and help with Haiti's general structure so that it may be better able to withstand any sort of natural disaster in the future.

Sam Kelly said...

It is what it is.

Bottom line is aid is going to Haiti, much needed aid. Therefore I have no problem with it.

Heather Flanagan said...

At first I thought this was a bad idea and basically taking advantage of a huge disaster and exploiting the country. However, once I thought more about it doesn't seem like such a horrible thing. The money donation is really good, obviously Haiti is in need of a lot of help including financially. It will also be an unforgettable experience for the people participating in the program. I'm sure they will learn a lot not just about photojournalism but about life in general.

Francisco Ovalle said...

i think it is wrong giving the circumstances. i picture it as if they're taking advantage of the situation, for something they can do somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I do not see the issue with this. Zoriah Miller is an amazing photojournalist, and I'm hoping to one day attend a workshop with him. I'd much rather learn first hand, from someone who inspires me, than by doing minuscule pieces and being utterly terrified the first time i'm in a real disaster zone.
I'd gladly pay 4,000 dollars to know I was side-by-side with someone who knows what he's doing in a situation like that. Even if he wasn't donating half of the money (which HE didn't advertise) I don't see the issue. He's a professional, and in a case like this, he's a teacher, and someone who will probably keep someone much safer than they would've been had they hopped off the plane and started wandering.