"Stanovisko mych dvou kamaradu, ke kteremu se jiz pripojuji dalsi kolegove" (zaslal
(Český překlad viz níže:)
This is a personal note, concerning the recent events and photographers. Please onpass this to others on your e-mail list, or post a hardcopy on a visible bulletin board at your office
It has been a great tradition of our western civilization that those accused of a crime are judged by the facts. It is with a certain amount of disgust that we've seen this tradition short-circuited so brutally in the case of photographers and the world's media.
News photography prides itself on impartiality: if the subject is worthy of news, be it pauper or king, it is our job to provide newspapers and magazine editors with the material to illustrate the most important stories of the day. We are a very visible part of a large process.
With this in mind, this note is not about justifying the actions of the photographers at the scene of Diana's crash. The "facts" on the case have radically changed every day since the tragedy, and what appears true today may be false tomorrow.
My profession is news photography: it's a great profession full of excitement, danger and frequently accompanied by the feeling that our photographs can make a difference to the world. Complaints from the public were rare when photographers reached the besieged town of Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995, and exposed the impending tragedy facing the civilian population. There were no complaints of intrusion into the lives of Rwandans when images publicized the death of thousands there. Newspaper reports did not call for the review of privacy laws when a photographer recently caught Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot in court, being called to account for the murder of millions. As for the pack of mewling movie stars complaining of harrassment, these cynical masters of media manipulation should remain seen and not heard. When they need publicity to launch their "films", they quickly become our friends and all is conveniently forgiven.
The very tragic death of Diana has had a global reach and has touched millions at a surprisingly personal level. This phenomenon could never have happened without the direct presence of these same image makers who now stand accused and judged, of complicity in her death.
This is not the first time, nor the last time photographers are caught in the headlights of quick judgements. We will survive it, it's a great profession full of outstanding people worthy of respect.