Visual Rhetoric Are some images not fit to be shown

explores the meaning and necessity of photos depicting trauma and tragedy. Are the photos in this essay merely images of a most regrettable incident— a fire in Boston that kills a woman who falls from an unstable fire escape? Or does it have meaning? And, if so, what is its meaning? Ephron doesn’t talk specifically about why or how we might glean the importance and meaning of these images, but she does make a relevant point in her next-to-last paragraph when she talks about car wrecks and says that newspapers will print images of wrecked cars but not of dead bodies: “But the significance of fatal automobile accidents is not that a great deal of steel is twisted but that people die. Why not show it?” And in her final paragraph, she introduces an aesthetic element when she says, of the Boston photographs, “They deserve to be printed because they are great pictures, breathtaking pictures of something that happened. That they disturb readers is exactly as it should be: that’s why photojournalism is often more powerful than written journalism.”

Prompt
Ephron thinks it would be good for newspapers to publish more photographs of death and dying. In at least one paragraph, explain why you agree or disagree with Ephron’s statement. Should media or the government decide what images we are allowed to view or should the viewer make those decisions? Are there other factors to consider?

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