Why we need photojournalism….

“I desperately wanted to leave the room, to leave the country, to be home, but I couldn’t. I continued to photograph.”

The Lightbox feature on TIME magazine’s website has published a collection of photographs on the Ebola outbreak in Africa. “Inside the Ebola Crisis: The Images That Moved them Most” is a collection of 10 photographs from different locations in Africa, selected by the photographers who made them. The photographers were also asked to reflect on their experiences covering the outbreak and describe the photograph they selected.

Some of the pictures show the victims of the virus. Others show the survivors. A few show people who were not affected directly by the virus but by the public response to it. Some of the pictures are pretty graphic (which is one reason to link to the feature and not reproduce them here.)

The quote above is from Kieran Kesner of the Wall Street Journal. His photograph of a woman’s body and a member of a body removal team accompanies his description. His quote is a reminder that even when they want to turn away, photojournalists document the things that happen in the world – the good, the tragic and everything in between. The photographs add a dimension to reporting on Ebola that words alone can’t convey. They add detail and context to the story. They give voice to people who can’t otherwise share their stories.

Kieran’s photograph in black and white shows the body on the floor, the member of the removal team in protective gear and light coming in from the side. It’s a tragic scene, but one that also shows care and dignity.

It’s why we need photojournalists… and their vision.


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