(Click for larger sizes. Plus link to CNN video of elderly woman's rescue.)
As American citizens concerned about the humanity of the Haitian people, the sensationalist and self-promoting tendencies of American media and the power of pictures, we urge you to: Please stop.
-- Stop using the camera to rob people of their dignity when it's the only thing they have left.
-- Stop infantilizing the Haitian people.
-- Stop the pity party.
-- Stop the exploitation of despair to promote your own brand -- especially with those horrible patronizing split-screens.
-- Stop playing savior.
If these pictures disgust you as much they do us at BAGnewsNotes, where our mission is the daily analysis of media and political pictures, please tweet this message:
@andersoncooper @CNN -- PLEASE STOP visually exploiting the Haitians! http://bit.ly/8R1DGc (To send CNN the message, pls retweet!)
To submit feedback to CNN/Haiti coverage, go here and fill out the form. Feel free to copy-and-paste the message above -- and then forward this post to a friend.
The only way the networks are going to think twice about their behavior is if they hear from us.
UPDATE 1/22/10: To every- and anyone who responded to this post asking for more explanation of my outrage, as well as the meaning of the screen grabs above, please click through to my follow-up post "Why and How I Lost It Yesterday (Over CNN "Getting Off" On a Haitian Victim Rescue)."
For a breakdown of the latest visual spin, follow the BAGnewsNotes Twitter feed.
Follow Michael Shaw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bagnewsnotes