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ibstubro's avatar

Do you watch horrific news footage? [Details]?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) January 10th, 2015

NPR mentioned the “horrific images” coming from the recent tragedy in Paris.

It occurred to me that I have never allowed myself to view the footage of the World Trade Center collapse. I just don’t think that’s an image I need in my brain. I have no desire to see photos/video of the recent French murders, nor of the illustrations that prompted them.

Do you feel like it’s your duty as a world citizen to stay fully informed, or do you feel like knowledge of an incident is sufficient without the gory details/images?

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17 Answers

Pachy's avatar

NO! I make it a point not to look at gruesome news or “entertainment” footage, the ISIL beheading videos, for example. I don’t even look at such violence in movies.

P.S. I happen to believe—and I know plenty of people disagree with me—that such widely disseminated and easily viewable footage, real and fiction, encourages copycatting.

filmfann's avatar

Used to be when a network anchor cautioned viewers about graphic content, I would set up the VCR to record it.
Now days I seek out the beheading videos, the violent clips, and the other extreme things online. I feel compelled to be informed about what we are facing.

Aster's avatar

I don’t mind watching explosions on tv. What I cannot watch are those videos of suffering animals the ASPCA runs daily. Or any scenes that show animals killing each other for dinner.

flutherother's avatar

I get most of my news from the BBC who only show what is necessary to keep you informed. Nothing gratuitous is broadcast but it isn’t sanitised either.

prairierose's avatar

Yes, I often do look at the horrific pictures of news events, not because I like to see them, but because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Once I have seen the pictures I do not want to see them over and over again. Course, there have been times when I regretted looking at the pictures to begin with because they become forever imbedded in my mind.

ucme's avatar

I neither seek out or shy away from it, if its there in front of me i’ll watch.

Berserker's avatar

Like @ucme above me, I don’t make it a point to seek out horrific footage, but I will watch it if it’s there. I do stay informed though, but most of my news sources are text with some pictures. There usually is a video, which I usually skip unless I believe it to have additional information not found in the text. I did see footage from the French incident on tv though, nasty shit.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It depends on what the footage is portraying. Without exploiting the victims, I think journalists have a responsibility to broadcast some disturbing footage/photographs. Such footage or images may change the course of history and as citizens, we have a responsibility to be aware of actions taking place in our names.

However, I refuse to watch beheadings and that type of footage whether it’s broadcast via YouTube or a news channel. Similarly, I refused to watch YouTube videos victims of the Lindt siege were made to make. I feel watching such videos potentially gives those carrying out such crimes motivation. They want people to watch and be horrified. I refuse to give them that satisfaction.

snowberry's avatar

News media is not really news. More and more often it’s ENTERTAINMENT with a veneer of reality pasted over it. I don’t bother.

I always question anymore how much of it is true. Our media is all about what story will sell the most. If they can sell a story that’s not totally true, they certainly will, and milk it for all it’s worth.

ibstubro's avatar

I posted to this question between @Symbeline and @Earthbound_Misfit, I swear.

I’m with @Pachy. Totally. Not to say I can’t see the ‘staying informed’ angle and agreeing with it in principle. I just don’t want the images in my head.

I’m also concerned about pain and suffering being packaged as entertainment, as both @Pachy and @snowberry mention.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

No, I go out of my way to avoid stuff like it, especially if it’s up close and personal and very gory. I have OCD, so if I see something really bad, I will remember it for the rest of my life and I run the risk of the images popping into my head at any time, completely randomly, and I don’t know how to stop them once they start. It can be like a horrifying domino effect where every bad thing I’ve ever seen pops up, one after the other. It’s a very overwhelming and negative experience for me.

I also, like some others have said, am disgusted with how the media portrays certain events. It becomes much more like entertaining viewers than it does about informing them, and there’s so much wrong with that that I would never support it. And, again like others have said, watching beheadings is exactly what the people who are doing them want you to do – and if people stopped, they wouldn’t do them anymore, because the groups wouldn’t be getting the kind of attention they want – so no, I won’t view those, either.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No. I’ve seen enough of the real deal working on medical teams in disaster areas. I won’t even watch most the films they put out today. And sick TV shows like The Walking Dead with their obsession for head shots. It’s a sick fucking society.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@ibstubro My RAM’s all fucked up and I can’t play online video at the moment. What’s up?

ibstubro's avatar

Well, the headline says it all. Do we really want or need the Paris attacks reduced to “a glance” with a 2 minute supporting video?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@ibstubro Thanks. I get the point. I can’t speak for everyone of course, but I certainly don’t view these things as informative and I’m really not sure what the producers have in mind other than , giving viewers a sensation fix. Anyone who hasn’t heard of what happened in Paris has been comatose for the past week. What I want is information in times like this. I find out where the commentators are getting theirs and if it is available to me, I go to their sources. Right now, if I want to know what ISIL is up to, I read things like Dabiq, their online magazine. In between all the vitriolic propaganda and Bizantine groveling to Allah, the are quite candid about their operations.

If I want to know what our administration is thinking, I read things like the Foreign Affairs magazine online at the US Department of State site. It’s put out in a downloadable pdf. They are amazingly open about their policies, decision making process and strategies. Most democracies publish what their foreign ministries are up to. The Brits have an equivalent as do the Aussies, Canadians and Swedes, which I read now and then to see their reactions to certain events. It’s fun to read when they, oh so diplomatically, disagree with each other’s foreign policies. It’s also like looking into a crystal ball.

As far as analysts go, there are a few who reveal information found within their analyses that is strategically leaked to them by the intelligence community as they are trusted former employees. There’s this new guy, Michael Weiss. He looks like a 22 year-old kid, like a college radical from the mid-1960’s. This kid is sharp beyond belief and extremely well informed. He looks and presents himself like he came out of academia, but the kid knows shit that you wouldn’t learn there. And his language reeks of a former intelligence officer. There’s no Wikipedia on him. I haven’t checked LinkedIn yet. He is a editor of an online magazine that interprets and analyses articles in the Russian press and until recently, that was his forte. But his in-depth knowledge of the history, politics and current situation in the Middle East, including all the various terrorist and political groups and their modus operandi, is fucking astonishing. He was on CNN last week after the Paris attacks and, I’m sure he didn’t mean to, made a highly respected former intelligence officer and general sound like a doddering old man spouting cliches and out-dated information. I’d really like to know more about his guy.

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