Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The "tricky" side of photos

Since the start of the FreakSpeaker project we decided to be commited with Media Literacy and Accuracy. We stated those standars for our editorial line and we hope to be a sound resource for the online community. Last month we published at our website the article SHOULD I BELIEVE IT?: A GUIDE TO CRITICAL EVALUATION OF BLOGS, IMAGES AND NEWS And I think that today it is a good time revisit it.

From the article:

The photograph is our most direct representation of what we see, a record of our perception. also a very evocative form of art, stirring emotion and association of ideas. Consider:

  • A photograph is not reality. It is a two dimensional representation made possible through technology. We learn to "read" photographs.

  • What is selected to be photographed? What is in the frame: what slice of space, what frozen moment of time? Why this and not something else?

  • What is emphasized within the framed shot, and how? lighting? centring? colour? focus?

  • What devices have been used to communicate a particular version of the scene represented? what lens? what enhancement in printing? what touch-ups in printing? what computer modifications to the image?

  • In what context is the photo used? Is what it communicates affected by placement with other images, or language?

  • What purpose is being served, and by whom?

  • How effective is the photo for its purpose?

  • At what point does personal subjectivity become manipulative bias?

  • To what extent can a photograph be judged "true" or "false"?

  • How do photographs contribute to what we know in many areas of knowledge?

  • How do they affect how we perceive future scenes? How do they affect how we interact with other people and the world?

If you are interested in learning more about media manipulations you can access our website at www.freakspeaker.com

P.D. The New York Post belongs to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News Network CNN's direct competitor.

29 comentarios:

Jade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jade said...

Interesting post given the photo that "dedicated" Anderson Cooper fans have decided to slap up on the front page of their blogs.

These fans who preach how much they love him because of his good heart and his emotional reporting, seem bound to help those who want to publicly out Cooper by publishing a photo of him and spreading rumors.

These actions don't demonstrate how much these "fans" admire him, it shows the exact opposite. A nice display of how hell bent they are to publicly humiliate him, and encourage every photographer to continue hounding him in public.

In the end, the photo is nothing but a photo of Anderson Cooper walking next to another human being, who may or may not be connected to him in some fashion. But then again, that’s none of my business.

Christiane said...

I agree with you Jade. A friend sent me this interesting transcript of a past post from an "anderfan" that doesn't miss a chance to "troll" or "flame", he/she seems to get "turned on" with the andertrashing,throw the stone and hide the hand...
so here part of this hypocrite dubious position and the ones that makes him/she chorus.

"We are all good guys and gals and we would never do anything to hurt Anderson -- we are sure of that; but the more some of us get comfortable posting true or untrue facts, fantasies or fantastic facts about Anderson the more we come closer to the borderline between fun & information and abuse & disrespect that should never be crossed."
It continues:
"This article is a welcome and gentle (or perhaps not so gentle for some) reminder that Anderson Cooper is a human being with needs and feelings that can be trespassed, and we need to make sure that we don't get anywhere close to that line.
Read the article, you may agree with it or not; you may agree with some of its parts and not with others. But, whatever you take out of it I hope it will be a reminder that our guy is a wonderful, handsome and talented guy that deserves all the respect, and fun, that we can offer."

Ironic coming from someone who shows anything, but respect, towards Anderson and his family.

Its blog was characterized by "flamming" remarks in order to create controvery and attract trolls. It even went out to promote its content in order to have a viral effect.

Some follow suit, but thankfully, the majority knows better.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Cannot agree with you more.

While some "fans" are worried about his appearance in the photo, what worries me most is the intention behind whovever decided to buy it and publish it. It does not seem to be random.

Anderson is a tv anchor for Christ sake. I am not a fan of Shepard Smith but I don't see this much fuss over who walks beside him on the same street!

Oh wait that's the point! The more we are intetested the more people would want to divert our attention by distorting facts and spreading false rumors (disguised in pictures).

Christiane said...

Unfortunately this situation says "there is a market" and probably AC will be hunted by paparazzis now. If he had already a introvertive lifestyle, he will be force to be even more private.
The more the photo makes the round, the paparazzi agencies will find the excuse for the "demand".
For his body language, God only knows how many frames were taken, and if the paparazzi screamed innuendos at them, we know it is their style.

courtney01 said...

Jade, your comment is spot on.

Christiane, great post. Thanks for addressing this the way you did.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that. ;-)

ivy said...

@Christiane, Jade - ITA! I loved your comments, good points. Could the timing of it be a coincidence that Anderson beat Gretta on Wednesday and Thursday in ratings 25-54? the "fans" don't seem to care

libbey said...

Ivy: What makes a person less of a fan of Anderson to you? I'm curious?

Christiane said...

Welcome to our blog Libby! Nice to see you over here. Long time!

I hope you like our content. We really work hard to publish great stories, and please don't miss the ones that we have already line up.

So keep visiting!

libbey said...

Gee Christiane, That's a mighty nice welcome but I just had a question. That's all, Thanks.

Christiane said...

You are completely welcome Libby. And I want to thank you for all the promotion you are giving to this humble blog at your space.
The response has been incredible, and particularly today, we broke our traffic landmark!
We have been flooded with emails congratulating us for this effort. People are getting tired of all the bigotry over the internet, and some feel this blog is a safe heaven to have intelligent discussions and gather real information.
Here we have clear rules, as stated in our main page, respect to our fellow bloggers, respect to all editorial subjects and respect towards Mr. Cooper.
The "flamming" and the "trolling" are not tolerated here. But I guess you already noticed it. We want to keep our standards and rules clear for everyone.

Libbey said...

Christaine:How very good for you and I'm glad that we could help you. So, You don't mind if I link you a place or two to help your traffic flow, do you? These places really love sites like yours, trust me.

Christiane said...

Oh dear! I think they would be sooo bored! But I guess you would do it anyway, they are your kindred friends. But if they are, what can we do but accept them. We have a non discriminatory policy here. Although I think it would really be good. You all could learn a thing or two!

Purple Tie said...

Very good post and very good comments. I totally agree with them. Harmless gossip amoung friends in private is one thing but plastering hear say and gossip all over the internet is not what a "fan" is. Bravo!

courtney01 said...

Hiya PT and Libbey. Good to see you here.

Christiane said...

Thank You Purple Tie!

libbey said...

Christiane: Thank you for your blessing and I know you will have tons of fun because you are So tolerant and open minded. Gee I hope Anderson appreciate to what lengths you go to for him and I'm sure he considers all of you girls his true fans.

Oh you declared him straight on ACE right, I met him once? I guess that's alright. It just makes me wonder if you have real proof to your claim?

courtney01 said...

all of us girls his true fans...

I never claimed to be a "true fan," whatever that means. There are many levels of being someone's fan, but foremost in my mind is respecting that person. Helping circulate rumors and creating rumors about that person does not constitute respect, in my opinion.

Christiane said...

Oh Libby, if you only knew!

ivy said...

just came here-)
@libbey -- unlike you I don't mind if somebody disagrees with me. I believe you take some things personally that are not directed at you.
I'll try to answer your question. First of all, I'm not measuring anybody's extent of being a fan of anybody. As I wrote in one of my first posts in now your blog --I do not consider myself an "anderfan". What I have a problem with is that people who claim to like and respect somebody, especially for their work (at least in part) and care for their well-being to some extent; they do things that might be harmful to that person or people around him/her, directly or indirectly. I don't think that goes together well. If I see that I tend to express my opinion on the topic, everybody else is free to express theirs. Because I liked now your blog I found it important to pay blogger's attention to what I found unethical in a friendly way. I never understood the hostile reaction.

Christiane said...

Ivy, intelligent, respectfull and fact based opinions are more than welcome here, and you know it! As long as you don't bite anyone here you are free to argue.

QueenAnneGrl said...


My apology if I offend you, but I wonder what your real credentials are?

I feel as if you exagerate your experience in the field a bit over zealously. In other words, you try too hard.

As I stated on the Silver Fox, I was probably working in "the field" before you were born.

Nothing personal, but if I want facts and ethics about the field of journalism, I know where to find it for myself.

Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

queenannegrl---Have you had your Geritol today?

Christiane said...

QAG, are you planning to hire me for an assignment? otherwise, my credentials are non of your business, but rest assured, they are good, very good.

I'm truly sad to know that you are (were) a journalist. Your attitude explains a lot of what is wrong with the industry.

As a veteran you would have been expected to lead the young not to be part of the misleading.

Christiane said...

that kind of post is not tolerated here. You are in the wrong blog.

Please refer to the blog rules at the buttom of our front page.

QueenAnneGrl said...


I do lead the young, but in a field that involves humanitarian efforts. In fact, I am in the process of designing a program concept now for a potential New Orleans project next year for poor families.

ivy said...

it's really nice what you're doing for your humanitarian project. I respect anybody who's involved in work helping others. But I don't think you asking Christiane about her credentials publicly is appropriate. You could email her about it. I don't think you could really expect her to put up her real bio for everybody to see. I'm not sure if you know her age, then talking about being born before and after is not appropriate either. People who know your age might make conclusions about Christiane's, and people who know hers, about yours. Imagine how it can misinform and confuse people who don't know who knows what about whom.

@anon- let's keep it civilized, please.

Purple Tie said...

I didn't read what was going on over at the other blog until now. I guess I'm out of the loop! lol

I don't think "true fan" is really a good term and it looks like everyone agrees on that. What I thought you were referring to at first were trolls. (which is a whole other can of worms).

I do believe each blogger or fan is entitled to their own opinion and choice for what they choose to put up or not. It's hard because we each see things differently and come from different places. Personally, once you've dealt with some people in this fandom you find yourself changing and adapting. If you don't adapt then more than likely you won't last. It's not really the average blogger or fan even, it's the ones that Anderson likes to term "over zealous". Once you've had to deal with them your attitude about a lot of things change. Not only that but you have to contend with trolls. We've all seen what can happen to blogs when they taken over. I guess where I'm trying to go with all this is that over time you begin to see that posting certain things attracts certain people. Maybe you can get away with it for awhile but over time you'll attract the very people you don't want and it can ruin your blog or site. So, you have to be careful. And beyond that, for me personally, I always blog as if Anderson or someone at 360 was reading it themselves (I'm sure they aren't lol). Even if I disagree with something 360 has done I'm always respectful of him and the show. For me, no matter what I write it all boils down to respecting the person I admire. However, that word means different things to different people. I'm not gonna judge because each person, each blog and each fan has to decide how they are going to act and that's not for me to decide.

Sorry that's so long! But I do like your blog and others. It's good to read other's opinions about the show.


Christiane said...

Thank You for your sound advice Purple Tie. I know that you at ATA had to deal with the "over zealous" fans and you did what was necessary to keep it running.

We really appreciate your input in this and we will take the required measures to deal with them.


Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!


This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental, political, news and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such material as provided in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with the title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this blog is distributed and available without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

If your obsession against us and our content endures, you might find more information at: Law.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the blog owner.