Media @ McGill

Conflict[ed] Reporting: War & Photojournalism in the Digital Age


Conflict[ed] Reporting: War & Photojournalism in the Digital Age

Friday, November 2, 2012, 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
McCord Museum, 690 Sherbrooke Street West

From Nick Ut’s still shot of the immediate aftermath of Napalm in Vietnam to CNN’s live reporting of the 1991 Gulf War, photojournalism has been credited with making war accessible to civilians. The beginning of the twenty-first century, with its increasing technological developments in digital and social media, has brought further changes to the visibility and portrayal of war. Whether concerning grainy video footage of protesters running in the streets of Iran in 2009 or the images of US soldiers posing with the body parts of Afghan bombers in 2012, images taken by amateur photojournalists have been widely circulated by news outlets around the world and have succeeded in representing conflict in a new and even more austere light.

At times, the relative freedom in which these images were taken sits in stark contrast to the controlled path of embedded journalism, where the professional journalist works in conjunction with the military. These new players, relationships, and communication methods, have raised a number of questions on how photojournalism, through an ever-changing digital landscape, has altered the way we see war. Has the citizen photojournalist helped democratize the media representation of war? What does the adoption of “publish first, validate later” practices for amateur images mean for media ethic standards? And, when thinking of the viewer, how have real-time images of graphic violence altered our perception of current conflicts?

Media@McGill presents a one-day free public symposium entitled, Conflict[ed] Reporting: War & Photojournalism in the Digital Age, which aims to bring these questions to the foreground. The symposium will be part of a two-day photojournalism event held in collaboration with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and the McCord Museum.

Event Schedule - November 2, 2012

1:00-2:00 p.m.  Peter Maass: Perpetrators and Participants: War Photographers of the Digital Age

2:00-3:00 p.m.  Sharon Sliwinski: Seven Theses on the Photographic Situation

3:30-4:30 p.m. Donald Matheson: When the war photographer returns: Exploring reflexive moments in photojournalism

4:30-6:00 p.m.  Panel: Conflict[ed] Reporting: War and Photojournalism in the Digital Age