In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By thokole
Words 755
Pages 4
Philosophy Paper 2

In today’s society, journalists allow the public to become spectators to the hardship felt by other countries. Through the use of media and global communications, coverage on wars and disaster has become a part of the average families home. Susan Sontag uses the quote, “if it bleeds, it leads”, to describe who the tabloids feature conflict and violence to incite a response from the public. These responses usually include compassion, indignation, or approval, as each misery is place in front of the ever-watchful eyes of the public. The public is increasingly suspicious of things that seem too good to be true. Thus, photographs that are less perfect and perhaps could have been taken by a mere passerby are more effective.

One point that Sontag makes in the second section of her book Regarding the Pain of Others is that “a photograph has only one language.” The media also has many different ways of transmitting a message. There are perceived differences between how different kinds of mediums affect people. Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The medium is the message” (Book, 1967), meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. A written account of a situation that is provided through written journalism has a complexity of thought and has the ability to be pitched to a larger or smaller readership. There can be miscommunication between the author’s intentions and the reader’s perceptions. Photographs can convey something of the terrors and the devastation that countries are faced with on a daily basis. Photographs are memory freeze-frames that provide a quick way of apprehending something and allows for a compact form for memorizing it. A person’s memory stocks hundreds of photographs and they are subject to instant recall based on the…...