While surfing the web today, my sister came across this article about the

refugee crisis in Pakistan.

What caught her attention was the captivating picture of the young beautiful refugee girl, and my sister's interest immediately peaked, she proceeded to read the rest of the article.

It reminded me of our discussion in Hisory of Journalism today about how readers' are more likely to read stories about refugee crises and poverty if accompanied by tragic pictures of attractive children suffering such difficulties. These sort of pictures tend to intrigue the readers, appeal to their senses, and perhaps make them realize the reality of such situations as more than just numbers and statistics. Take a look.


For those of you well-versed in the world of blogs, this is the first blog I've ever written and put up (ever!), so please forgive any stupidity on my part.

I. however, am feeling quite a sense of achievement.

Don't worry Zehra, seems okay to me :).

... to the blogosphere, Zehra. We'll be taking a closer look at the power of pictures when we move into the print section of the convergent journalism module. Harry Evans's book Pictures on a Page (there's a copy in the library, I believe) is brilliant on this subject and includes plenty of pertinent advice on how to harness that power more than a quarter of a century after it was written. 

Ian Reeves is head of the Centre for Journalism

I keep on clicking on that article, because there's something about the picture that I dislike. I think the plain blue background might be my problem. It does look like the type of picture that could have been taken anywhere in the world. I am in no way saying that it is staged - I'm just stating that the lack of context in the background detracts from the effectiveness of the picture. 

In contrast i think it is a striking photo and it does undoubtedly capture the viewers interest, but i agree there is something slightly disturbing about it.

Perhaps it is the fact that at first glance her age is undistinguishable. It is definately not a compliment to today's materialistic society that it takes a beautiful child posing to publicise awareness of the many suffering civilians in Pakistan.

Becci, I agree with you about the picture having the potential to be more effective.

But the whole point of the blog was to let everyone know that I personally witnessed the point Tim was making in class today come to life when my sister paused during web surfing because the picture caught her eye and said, "What a beautiful girl", before proceeding to read the article. I think in this particluar situation, it was more about the subject of the picture for her than its effect.

However, I also think it could've been better staged and made more effective. The more eye-catching and appealing, the more interest and feelings generated. So yeah, good observation :)

I understood the point of your blog - I just get distracted by pictures!

Beauty sells though... let's hope for my sake that I never get a column which needs a picture of me to accompany it.

Better staged?! I'm not a fan of false and posed pictures for things like this. Drifting away from the topic again  - I think that maybe a picture that angers people, as opposed to pretty people posing, can generate a better effect. Sometimes if you sicken people enough they are forced to act, as opposed to thinking "she's beautiful" and then carrying on with their own day-to-day life.    

Forgive the wrong use of word. When I said staged, I actually meant the staging (as in changing) of whole background and context of the picture as you mentioned before, and not an actual false staging of the picture. Should polish up on my photography lingo.

You bring up some good points.

Well spotted Zehra. It is a perfect example of the issue I raised in the seminar yesterday. Welcome to the blogosphere, and congratulations for joining it with such a thought-provoking and apposite post.   

Beauty vs. Tragedy : what's the bigger eye-catcher?