'TN cop bleeds to death, even as ministers look on in complete apathy’ screamed TV headlines this week and sanctimoniously lamented the abysmal depths to which politicians have sunk.
And what did the channels have to support the story? A video footage, shot in an unhurried manner, of the cop begging for help and then collapsing.
The footage was provided by a freelance photographer, but had one of the NDTV cameraman been around he would have shot the same film too without any compunction.
Did the channels ask what the cameraman- one of their own tribe- was doing? Why couldn’t he have extended some help to the cop, instead of getting the photographic scoop?
Journalists and photographers have their own code of ethics. They are expected to be true to their profession- that is to report events and stories as truthfully as possible. They are not supposed to interfere – for good or for worse- when the events actually unfold. War photographers, who are constantly in battle zones, often see their countrymen getting injured but are expected to restrain their urge to reach out or help. Their job is to capture the piece of action on a film, not to save lives.
Wildlife photographers are expected to maintain strict neutrality and not influence or disturb the ‘ecological’ system in any manner. If a lion is chasing down a deer, their sympathy may be with the deer, but Nature is supposed to decide the outcome. The photographer should remain a mere spectator.
A detached outlook in the context of war or amidst wildlife may be understandable – even desirable- but not in circumstances that the freelance photographer found himself in, when the cop was dying. I would hold him as guilty of apathy and devoid of decency as the politicians. I wonder why the media has not introspected on this aspect at all.