Academic Publication

Images of humanitarian crises: Ethical implications

Gilbert Holleufer
International Committee of the Red Cross
Publication Year:
May 13, 2020
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

With the long-heralded advent of the information age, the upheaval caused by the proliferation of visual technologies in a society dominated by the media is forcing the entire spectrum of what used to be called " the press " to redefine itself, to reassess its professional code of ethics and to devise new working methods. Only by examining the role played by images in the global flow of information — especially their relationship to the written word — can we fully grasp what is at stake. Our world view is increasingly shaped by the images, televised or in print, to which the public is constantly exposed. Indeed, so great is their power that one can say, along with many analysts, that they are beginning to replace reality: only what has been authenticated, certified and validated by being photographed or filmed and shown on television really exists. As these images bombard us from all sides, everything that has not been seen captured on film is reduced to oblivion. What makes the power of images so irresistible? Access the article here.


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