Rauwe realiteit of publiek beschermen? De evaluatie en publiceerbaarheid van dramatische nieuwsfoto’s volgens persoonlijkheid

Emilie Bossens
Bloederige foto’s in de krant? Laat maar komen!Een afgescheurd ledemaat, een bebloed gezicht of een neergeschoten oorlogsslachtoffer. Deze beelden zie je niet alleen in horrorfilms, maar ook dagelijks in de krant. Maar wat vindt het lezerspubliek daar eigenlijk van? Emilie Bossens, een masterstudente Journalistiek aan de Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), zocht het uit.De meerderheid van het publiek is van mening dat ze niet beschermd hoeft te worden voor schokkende foto’s.

Rauwe realiteit of publiek beschermen? De evaluatie en publiceerbaarheid van dramatische nieuwsfoto’s volgens persoonlijkheid

Bloederige foto’s in de krant? Laat maar komen!

Een afgescheurd ledemaat, een bebloed gezicht of een neergeschoten oorlogsslachtoffer. Deze beelden zie je niet alleen in horrorfilms, maar ook dagelijks in de krant. Maar wat vindt het lezerspubliek daar eigenlijk van? Emilie Bossens, een masterstudente Journalistiek aan de Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), zocht het uit.

De meerderheid van het publiek is van mening dat ze niet beschermd hoeft te worden voor schokkende foto’s. Dat blijkt uit de resultaten van de masterproef uitgevoerd door Emilie Bossens, masterstudente Journalistiek aan de Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB). “Meer dan drie vierde van de lezers, en dan vooral mannelijke, wil het liefst zo veel en zo correct mogelijke informatie”, vertelt ze. “Vrouwen hechten dan weer meer belang aan de privacy van slachtoffers en willen soms toch beschermd worden. Leeftijd speelt bij deze meningen echter geen rol.”

Close-up meest schokkend

De studente onderzocht bij 400 mensen hun mening over dramatische foto’s in het nieuws. Via een vragenlijst werden tien gruwelijke nieuwsfoto’s gepresenteerd en de deelnemers moesten aangeven hoe schokkend ze de foto vonden en in welke mate ze de foto geschikt vonden voor publicatie in een nieuwsmedium. “Het was vooral de close-up foto die het publiek het meest schokkend en minst geschikt voor publicatie vond”, vertelt Bossens. “Overigens, hoe schokkender het publiek de foto vond, hoe minder de foto geschikt voor publicatie werd bevonden.”

Jonge slachtoffers

De geanalyseerde nieuwsfoto’s in de studie verschilden ook op een aantal kenmerken. “Ik wilde nagaan of levendige foto’s verschillen van minder levendige of sprekende foto’s”, verklaart de studente. “De resultaten toonden aan dat een foto met een kind als slachtoffer schokkender wordt bevonden dan wanneer het slachtoffer volwassen is. Ook foto’s met menselijke schade vindt men schokkender dan foto’s met bijvoorbeeld een autowrak.”

‘Het zwakke geslacht’

De respondenten kregen verder ook vragen voorgeschoteld in verband met hun empatisch vermogen, angst voor criminaliteit, mediagebruik, enzovoort. “Op die manier kon ik nagaan welke precieze subgroepen het moeilijk hebben met de publicatie van dramatische foto’s in het nieuws”, zegt de journaliste in spé. “Zo blijkt dat geslacht een grote rol speelt: vrouwen vonden alle foto’s schokkender dan mannen”, concludeert de studente. “Ook wie negatief staat tegenover het gebruik van geweld en wie bang is om slachtoffer te worden van criminaliteit, vindt de foto’s schokkender.”

Ongevoelig voor geweld

Wie van mening is dat een publiek niet beschermd, maar daarentegen wel volledig geïnformeerd moet worden, vindt dat gruwelijke foto’s wél gepubliceerd mogen worden. “We zien ook dat mensen die veel gewelddadige films en series kijken of dikwijls gewelddadige videogames spelen, minder moeite hebben met de publicatie van gruwelijke foto’s in een krant”, vertelt Bossens. “Zo’n mensen worden dan in zekere mate ongevoelig voor geweld.”

De smartphonegeneratie

Bossens besteedde in haar onderzoek ook aandacht aan het nieuwsgebruik van mensen. “De resultaten zijn geruststellend: vier op de vijf respondenten vindt het belangrijk om het nieuws te volgen”, vertelt ze. “De meeste mensen blijven op de hoogte via nieuwssites, nieuws- en actualiteitenprogramma’s op televisie en sociale netwerksites. Maar ook radio en kranten blijven populair. “Wat wel opvallend is”, concludeert Bossens, “is dat ongeveer één derde dagelijks het nieuws volgt via zijn of haar smartphone.”

Geen geheimen meer

Wanneer een journalist moet beslissen of een gruwelijk beeld met bijvoorbeeld ernstige menselijke schade in nieuwsmedia getoond zal worden of niet, dan zorgt dit dikwijls voor een moreel dilemma. Maar nu journalisten een beter zicht hebben op de mening van het publiek over de publicatie van dramatische foto’s, kunnen ze er ook meer rekening mee houden. “Journalisten kunnen best niets geheim houden,” concludeert de masterstudente. “Toch zijn sommige mensen, bijvoorbeeld vrouwen, gevoeliger voor de publicatie van schokkende foto’s. Nieuwsmedia met een groot vrouwelijk publiek zouden bijvoorbeeld minder dramatische beelden kunnen tonen”, raadt Bossens aan.

 

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master in Journalistiek
Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel
Publicatiejaar
2014
Kernwoorden
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