Via PetaPixel comes this post linking to a short documentary by Ruben Salvadori on the techniques commonly used by photographers in framing, staging, and otherwise embellishing conflict photography. Those readers interested in visual rhetoric, citizen journalism, rhetorical ethics, and related topics will likely find this video a useful critique:
Here’s a fascinating video in which Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori demonstrates how dishonest many conflict photographs are. Salvadori spent a significant amount of time in East Jerusalem, studying the role photojournalists play in what the world sees. By turning his camera on the photographers themselves, he shows how photojournalists often influence the events they’re supposed to document objectively, and how photographers are often pushed to seek and create drama even in situations that lack it.
It’s true (and perhaps to be expected) that rhetoric is implicitly defined here as bombastic sound-bites, caustic charges thick with generalization, delivered with unexamined confidence. Sadly, we’ve gotten used to having rhetoric framed this way (though we certainly should not accept it). What interests me, though, is the use of “extra” that’s further emphasized with the heaping mess of pizza glob and goop. It points us to a quantitative framing of rhetoric instead of a qualitative one. To stick with the metaphor: rhetoric may be perfectly acceptable as a garnish, a topping to be sprinkled judiciously on something substantive, but if the “toppings” are piled too high and wide we’ll get sick.
It’s a remarkably unproductive way to frame rhetoric that should signal to rhetoricians everywhere that our work is cut out for us . . .