Photo of dying Marine sparks criticism
Think of the Spanish Civil war and one photo comes to mind: Robert Capa’s “Death of a Loyalist Militiaman,” taken in 1936.
The photograph, known as The Falling Soldier, shows the moment a Republican militiaman was killed. He is collapsing backwards, one arm reaching behind him, his rifle slipping from his grasp.
Think of the Vietnam War and its indelible images.
There’s the photo of a young girl running naked along the road. Her name is Kim Phuc, she was fleeing her village just after South Vietnamese planes had dropped napalm. The AP photographer Nick Ut won a Pulitzer prize for the shot in 1972. (She survived after he took to a hospital.)
There is also the 1968 photo of South Vietnamese police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong officer with a single pistol shot in the head. It was taken in Saigon by Eddie Adams, another Associated Press photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner.
Now, amidst criticism that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sanitized for the public, there’s controversy over an Associated Press photograph released over the weekend of a dying Marine. Lance Cpl. Joshua M Bernard, a 21-year-old from New Portland, Maine, is being aided by fellow Marines after he was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan.
It was taken by Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson, who was embedded with the Marines.
Bernard’s family opposed the release of the photograph.
But AP went forward.
“AP journalists document world events every day,” said Santiago Lyon, the director of photography for the AP. “We feel it is our journalistic duty to show the reality of the war there, however unpleasant and brutal that sometimes is.”
What do you think?