By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net First Posted 16:29:00 04/26/2009
MANILA, Philippines--He never really wanted to become a war photographer and only wanted to travel. But when he was sent out to cover his first war in Yugoslavia about 10 years ago, he never left. Pulitzer Prize awardee and photographer Karsten Thielker said that war photography is one of the most challenging and most dangerous areas of journalism.
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"You always have to look up. Something might fall," Thielker quipped. But while photography remains an important aspect of covering wars, Thielker said there is also growing concern over the distribution of photos showing copious amount of blood through the Internet, a platform that remains uncensored.Thielker himself rarely use the Internet except only to send photos or do email. "I never spend over an hour using the Internet," he said.
While he believes the Internet is widely useful for research and communication, it is also a medium that is abused.As the Internet becomes an important source for information for many, it becomes difficult to provide honest journalism since it is not censored. In addition, digital photography has also brought about new problems of fakery.
He said it would be difficult for people to discern the truth from a photo if it is altered for the purposes of having a compelling photo. "People have to find the right balance to the photos that they're seeing. They must know what's the truth," Thielker said. Thielker, who works as a war photographer for the Associated Press, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for his photos of the violence in Rwanda.