Body horror; photojournalism, catastrophe and war

Taylor, J. (1998). Body horror; photojournalism, catastrophe and war. Manchester:  Manchester University Press.

This book is about photojournalism, especially the impact of shocking images of war and catastrophes on the viewer. Taylor discusses the moral implications of shocking pictures and explains why people are attracted by those pictures. He also shows how photojournalism can contribute to feelings of disgust, aversion and compassion fatigue. He describes this process as an analgesic effect: a concept which explains the increasing desensitization of the audience. Taylor also discusses Sontag’s view that photography blunts morality and has an analgesic effect which numbs people to the point of indifference. All in all, the ideas of Taylor about shocking, aversion, numbing and compassion fatigue in relation to media coverage, especially photojournalism, provide interesting information and theories for my thesis.