A Historical Story of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter

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An Historical Story of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter

A Historical Story of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter

Two vultures
Who can forget this picture?
It is clear from this picture that a vulture is waiting for a starving and dying girl to die so that it can scratch and eat her. This photo was taken by a South African photojournalist Kevin Carter in 1993 during the famine in Sudan.

This picture became so famous in the world that he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this picture. But Carter could not live long and could not enjoy his honor for long because he suffered from depression and committed suicide.

Why did this happen?

Actually, when he was celebrating receiving this award, he was being mentioned on media channels all over the world and his fame had reached its peak. Then the incident happened due to which Carter committed suicide due to depression.

It happened that during an interview someone asked Carter that you took a great picture, but tell me what happened to this girl?
Carter was taken aback by the question, then calmly replied that he couldn’t stop to see it because he had to catch a flight. Hearing this answer the questioner said

That day there were two vultures, one of which had a camera in his hand.
This incident affected Carter so much that he went into depression and eventually committed suicide.
Humanity should come first in any work

Carter would be alive today if he had taken the starving girl to the United Nations feeding center where she was trying to reach.

Have we also become vultures, ask yourself this question

Nowadays, we are always looking for such incidents with cameras and mobile phones in our hands and as soon as we see something like this, we immediately save it in our camera and make it viral on social media in the cycle of rating and like comments. are.
Nowadays, when people see an accident, their hands immediately go to their mobile phones.

They don’t call for an ambulance etc. on the phone, but start making a picture or video of a person moaning with injuries so that they can spread it all over the world through Facebook or WhatsApp and get praise.
Don’t just think about it.


The story of Kevin Carter and his famous photograph is indeed a poignant reminder of the ethical responsibilities that come with journalism and photography, especially when documenting sensitive and distressing events. Carter’s photograph captured the world’s attention, highlighting the devastating impact of famine and the stark realities faced by many in Sudan.

However, the aftermath of the photograph’s publication and the subsequent questions raised about Carter’s actions and the ethical implications of his choices shed light on the complexities of photojournalism. The criticism Carter faced for not intervening in the situation depicted in the photograph, coupled with his own struggles with depression, paints a tragic picture of the toll that bearing witness to such suffering can take on individuals.

It’s crucial to remember that journalists and photographers operate within ethical frameworks and must balance their role as observers with their duty to intervene or provide assistance when necessary. Carter’s story serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and ethical considerations in the pursuit of truth and the documentation of human suffering.

As society continues to grapple with the impact of social media and the proliferation of digital imagery, it’s essential to reflect on our own behavior and the ethical implications of sharing and consuming sensitive content. Empathy and humanity should indeed guide our actions, prompting us to prioritize the well-being and dignity of those depicted in the images we encounter.

In conclusion, Kevin Carter’s story underscores the ethical complexities of photojournalism and the importance of maintaining empathy and compassion in our interactions with both media and the world around us. We must strive to uphold ethical standards and prioritize humanity in our pursuit of truth and storytelling.

An Historical Story of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter


What does a photojournalist do?

A photojournalist is a journalist who primarily uses photography to tell news stories. They capture images that convey events, emotions, and perspectives to the audience. Their work often appears in newspapers, magazines, websites, and other forms of media. Photojournalists cover a wide range of subjects, including politics, conflicts, social issues, sports, culture, and more.

They must have a keen eye for composition, timing, and storytelling, as their images often serve as powerful visual narratives that inform and engage the public. Additionally, photojournalists adhere to ethical standards, ensuring accuracy and truthfulness in their portrayal of events.

Do photojournalists get paid well?

The pay for photojournalists can vary widely depending on factors such as their level of experience, the publication or organization they work for, the location of their work, and the specific assignments they cover. Some photojournalists may earn relatively low salaries, particularly when starting out or freelancing, while others with more experience or working for prestigious publications may command higher rates.

Additionally, some photojournalists supplement their income through freelance work, licensing their images, or selling prints. Overall, while some photojournalists may earn well, it’s not uncommon for others to face financial challenges in the field.

What are the roles of photojournalism?

Photojournalism plays several important roles in society:

Informing the Public:

One of the primary roles of photojournalism is to inform the public about events, issues, and developments around the world. Through powerful images, photojournalists can bring attention to important stories that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Documenting History:

Photojournalism serves as a visual record of history. Photographs capture significant moments in time, allowing future generations to understand and learn from past events. They provide a tangible connection to the past and help preserve memories for posterity.
Creating Awareness:

By capturing compelling images, photojournalists can raise awareness about social, political, environmental, and humanitarian issues. These images have the power to evoke emotions, provoke thought, and inspire action, leading to positive change.
Promoting Accountability:

Photojournalism can hold individuals, organizations, and governments accountable for their actions. By documenting and exposing wrongdoing, corruption, or injustice, photojournalists help promote transparency and accountability in society.
Cultural Exchange:

Photojournalism facilitates cultural exchange by providing insight into different cultures, traditions, and ways of life around the world. Photographs can bridge cultural gaps and foster understanding and empathy between people from diverse backgrounds.
Aesthetic Appreciation:

Beyond their informational and documentary functions, photojournalistic images can also be appreciated for their artistic merit. Many photojournalists possess a keen eye for composition, lighting, and storytelling, creating visually stunning images that resonate with viewers on a deeper level.

Overall, photojournalism plays a crucial role in shaping public discourse, raising awareness, preserving history, and promoting social change.

Is it hard to be a photojournalist?

Being a photojournalist can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging. It requires a unique combination of skills, including photography proficiency, journalistic integrity, and the ability to tell stories visually.

Here are some challenges photojournalists often face:

Competitive Industry:

The field of photojournalism is highly competitive, with many talented individuals vying for limited opportunities.
Safety Risks:

Photojournalists often work in dangerous environments, covering conflicts, natural disasters, and other volatile situations. This can pose significant risks to their safety.
Emotional Toll:

Witnessing and documenting traumatic events can take an emotional toll on photojournalists. They may experience secondary trauma from what they witness.
Unpredictable Work Schedule:

Photojournalists often work irregular hours and may need to be available at short notice to cover breaking news stories.
Financial Instability:

Freelance photojournalists, in particular, may face financial instability due to the irregular nature of their work and the decline of traditional media outlets.
Ethical Dilemmas:

Photojournalists must navigate ethical dilemmas, such as respecting the dignity and privacy of subjects while still accurately representing the story.

Despite these challenges, many photojournalists find immense fulfillment in their work, using their images to inform, inspire, and provoke change.

An Historical Story of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter


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