Graphic Media Images

Why is it the media feel the need to show very graphic pictures of the cruel and sick things people do to each other? These images are meant to attract ratings and strike emotion but do they really get the point across? The answer is: yes, they get your attention; but no, they more often distract or repel the viewers from the point of the article.

A good example of this was found in Newsweek two issues ago. This is a magazine known for its articles on political, international, national and regional issues, and has in the past contained mild graphic images. However, recently they submitted a very disturbing picture I found to be borderline repulsive. This particular article was about the drug wars in Mexico, and included a picture from a blog that contained horrifying images of the brutal acts gangs have committed to their enemies. Now, the interesting thing is that Newsweek decided to post a large image in the middle of their article of two bloody victims hanging in some warehouse. Most likely, this image was probably pulled off a blog that is dedicated to striking fear into gang members. By posting the image, Newsweek can be held accountable for promoting the message the blog creator is trying to say, which is look at the terrible things we can do to you. The distracting image is more powerful than the words of the article, but it does not get the point of the article across clearly or in a positive light.

As a long time Newsweek reader, I know this magazine has recently undergone into new management. Whether Newsweek is heading in a different direction is unclear. However, I think it would be appropriate to place a warning in front of the article to notify people who do not want to be subjected to gory images. Doing that would show a little respect for their readers. By posting this image, Newsweek makes a assumption about what their readers want to see, interrupt the flow of the article, and make readers wary about turning the pages. While there are those who find the image of two bloody dead people hanging in some cold creepy warehouse fascinating, there are still many who do not.  Clearly, Newsweek wanted to get a reaction by using this particular image but I feel if backfired because it shines a negative light on their reporting tactics. It appears even Newsweek has fallen prey to the idea that, it does not matter what the image is as long as it sells. This is unfortunate because its hard to find a magazine now days that does not subject you to some degree of disturbing graphic images. Negative graphic images are enough to make someone who normally gets excited when they find a new issue of Newsweek in their mail box suddenly wary of turning the pages.

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