Images are a big part of our lives, we take them to remember the places we’ve been and moments in our lives, and now we share them online with the world. Then of course, importantly, there are the images we see in the media. An article always comes with a picture, having them helps us visualize what is going on in the news and often, they are stronger than words. But have you ever thought about what you are being shown? Out of all the pictures the photojournalist might have taken, the one you are seeing has gone through careful selection steps. So why did this picture in particular make it? And can you trust them blindly?
This week Israel mentions the day of the assassination of its Prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, 18 years ago. Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing extremist, that opposed to the Oslo Accords of the beginning of the 1990s. 18 years later, and the myth of Rabin as a peacemaker begins to crack: it’s a good opportunity for a brief insight into contemporary Israeli public opinion, and the dismissal of old narratives regarding the long lasting conflict with the Palestinians.
by Laura Vilaça
I moved to Germany – more specifically to Hamburg – little over a month ago. And you know what I realized? I haven’t been able to prove a single stereotype I got about Germany from the media in my Southern European country. And along with me, many others agreed on this. So why does the media from my country – and that of the other PIGS (acronym for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the European countries in financial trouble) – insist otherwise?
I’ve realized that people are foolishly patriotic. And more than being that, they’re patriots who choose to trust ignorance instead of facts. And the question is: why? Because they are not necessarily given the facts. The media, much like the average citizen, has proven to have little knowledge of economy and, being so, is not capable of translating the heavy economic jargon. And this interests the heads of state, because blaming someone else is always less of a hassle than having citizens mad at you. They vote, they choose who gets what (or at least they are led to believe so) – and this misinterpretation of the political play helps supporting floating promises and inflamed speeches about Europe. The European political scene is a circus – and everyone juggles it the best they can.
While the news has been buzzing all week long about the Boston bombings, a picture of the Syrian rebels showed up showing solidarity and support for the victims in the attacks, while simultaneously pointing out that these kind of horrors have become part of everyday life in Syria. This picture makes me wonder about two things. First of all, how does the focus on either putting Boston or Syria in the news work, why do the horrors of Boston get more attention in the news than Syria does? And second of all, what does this picture really represent?