Paul Harper at NZ Herald reports:
A New York newspaper’s front page photo of a man’s final moments before he was hit by a subway train has sparked outrage.
New York Post freelance photographer R Umar Abbasi captured Queens man Ki Suk Han, 58, desperately scrambling back on to the platform after a “deranged man” pushed him off the platform at Times Square.
The image took up the entirety of Tuesday’s New York Post front page with the headline “DOOMED” and the subhead “Pushed on the subway track this man is about to die”.
I thought the photo and story were appalling. This man has family. There is no news value in seeing a man be killed.
Abbasi told the Post he was using the flash of his camera to warn the driver, however the published photo has been widely condemned by the Post’s readers and other media.
I think that is bullshit. The photo is near perfectly focused and centered on the man.
However I think Abbasi bears the lesser blame. He may have been too far away to help, and a photographer’s instincts will kick in to record it. The decision I criticise more is the newspaper editor who made the decision to publish it, especially in the way they did.
I understand Han was on the tracks for 22 seconds before the train came. It is appalling that he was not helped up by anyone. He may have survived. Arguably, he may have been better to lie flat on the track, but hard to think calmly in such a situation. Also I am unsure if all trains are high enough above the track that they can pass over a human. Anyone know?