* Class blog - Photojournalism新闻摄影课的老师让学生们在一个叫unrphotojournalism.blogspot.com的博客上以留言的形式贴上我们的作业，并规定每个人 至少要评一个学生的作业。我觉得这是一个非常好的形式，大家除了课堂上交流讨论，在作业上也互通有无，也可以看到别人的想法。而且对我来说，我还可以看到自己与美国同学之间思维与文字上的差别与差距。博客是对公众开放的，有兴趣你们也可以登录去看看。
以下摘出自己的文字。Assignment 1, Hurrican Katrina
- Gang said... Bush has missed a good chance
By Gang Wu
President George Bush surely deserves the wide-spreading criticism over his slow response to the devestation in New Orleans. It's already five days past when he eventually appeared on the long-suffered spot.
In China, when the longest river Yangtze inundated a couple of counties and threatened big cities along the lower reach every few years, the president or the premier would certainly rush to the flooded areas, "amiablly comforting the vicitimized folks," and "commanding the relief efforts in person," as some official news reports would unexeptionally highlight.
Although I'm not particularly impressed by some of the Chinese state leaders such as former president Jiang Zemin, they have nontheless done a good job as politicians. A disaster as devesating as Katrina could have become the best chance for a state leader to display his care of the people, even though not everybody buys it. But failing to at least SHOW such a stance would definitely result in nationwide discontent and criticism, as Bush has been enjoying now.
On a second thought, I suspect the case in New Orleans might have something to do with America's federalism, a system that assigns considerable proportion of powers to local governments. The federal government is not supposed to interfere unless a local problem becomes a national emergency (in this case many have later claimed it indeed was a national one). If this is true, poor Bush has had a few bad days when the line was smoky.
- Gang said... By Gang Wu, Sep 05, 2005
I don't mean to earn some extra grades by adding one more comment. But the "looting" picture Ira pointed out in class reminded me of a technically almost sadly beautifully yet ethically controversial flood news photo two months ago in China.
Please ignore the Chinese characters the above link leads to but take a look at the photos only on that web page.
A heavy rain broke a small dam and created a landslide-like flood in a village in northeastern China in June. The muddy flood water hit a school, killing more than 90 students aged around 10 in their classrooms. A horrific story.
The cover story picture on the next day's Beijing News showed four desperate muddy little handprints on a flooded wall. While the picture evoked tremendous compassion among readers with a great visual impact, questions about whether these handprints were left by the kids struggling for their last breath brought about a heated debate on the Internet. Some said they might probably be left after the flood by rescuers or survived kids who revisited the site.
Here are several of the prominant questions:
1. First of all, when the flood water rushed in, the mud could not be so thick that people can print so dark handprints on the wall.
2. It's impossible for the handprints to be still so dark after the flood, because the mud would have been almost wiped off by the raging water. (Some suggested the very vague handprints around the four black ones could be the real ones).
2. Some handprints were so big, they did not look like kids' hands. The parents who lived not far could have arrived before the journalists arrived to search for their deceased kids. After that, they might "naturally" clean their muddy hands on the wall, some said.
3. The flood water soon went overhead, and some of the victims surfaced with water trying to grap whatever came to their hands. But if there should be some prints left, they should be above the water level, not in the middle.
There were more questions and counter arguments coming back and forth. But there was no certain answer, even when some reports quoted a survivor student as a witness of the "truth."
Personally, I'm also very suspicious of the authenticity of the handprints shown in this picture. I don't want to spend time to speculate on this issue any more. But as Ira suggested, if you didn't see it happen, don't presume he is a looter. In the above case, the newspaper could have pointed out that the handprints MIGHT be left by the struggling kids.