Poynter on the Power of Photos and News on Russia-Ukraine

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

The power of photos

David Hume Kennerly, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his images of the Vietnam War and was the chief White House photographer for President Gerald Ford, has a haunting guest essay in The New York Times: “Photographing Hell.” (Warning: some of the images are graphic and unsettling.)

While looking at disturbing photos from Bucha, Ukraine, Kennerly was reminded of what he saw when he was on assignment for Time magazine and one of the first ones on the scene at Jonestown in 1978. It was there in the jungle of Guyana where more than 900 were found dead in a mass murder-suicide orchestrated by cult leader Jim Jones.

Kennerly, writing about the visuals that have come out of Ukraine, wrote, “The images of these atrocities were taken by trusted photojournalists. They are the truth, and a record of the mendacity and brutality of the Russian military. As accusations of war crimes mount, these photos are the documentation the world needs to finally understand what is really happening in Ukraine.”

Kennerly wrote that Russian President Vladimir Putin understands the power of photography and that is likely why Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and video journalist Mstyslav Chernov were hunted by Russian forces and had to be rescued out of Ukraine.

Kennerly wrote, “In the face of ceaseless conflicts, it can sometimes seem as if audiences have become inured to reports or images of suffering. But in my experience, some photographs will always have the power to make us confront horror. As the journalist Nicholas Kristof once told me, ‘Photos move people the way prose never does.’ Evocative images can affect policy, spur action, and every now and then alter the course of history.”

Notable journalism about Russia-Ukraine

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