Library Dissertation Showcase

Unethical photojournalism: what are the ethical considerations of photojournalism during the Vietnam War in 1968?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2019

Countless photographs were taken during the Vietnam War, but the ethical considerations of those images are rarely discussed. This dissertation takes iconic photographs of the conflict, taken in the year 1968, and analyses them next to the National Press Photographer’s Association’s Code of Ethics. The aim is to discover whether the photographs breach ethical clauses, and if these breaches can be justified. This is done by inspecting the background and context surrounding each photograph, and questioning whether the publication helped stop or diminish the suffering of the subjects in the image. The methods used in this dissertation highlight the need for ethical codes, and advance the analysis of each photograph. The results show that while some photographs breached ethical clauses, this can be rationalised by the overall impact and significance that the images had on the people of the United States (U.S.) and worldwide.

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