Michael Cleland


Social Good

Face to Face With Tragedy


After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 that killed over 250,000 people, the New York Times published a series of confronting photographs. The newspaper published a piece justifying their reasons.

There was a lot of argument that said that if a disaster of this scale had happened in the United States, then such photographs would not have been published. Some people argued they were “exploitive and sensationalistic”.

I strongly believe the NYT has done the right thing to publish the photographs of Haiti. Simply put, words are not enough. I have been deeply moved by the images, in particular the body of the 10-month-old girl and her grieving father.

If it helps people understand, it keeps it in their conscience, it prevents them from forgetting as soon as other stories begin to take over the headlines. We are at risk of not appreciating the devastation of the earthquake if we were presented with sanitised images.

We are all one humanity. Many of us are, through chance, born into countries overflowing with obscene plenty. At the absolute least, Haiti may influence people not to just think of their own situation, but to think of giving something to others.

I have read articles of rebuilding Haiti and hope that we don’t forget our early promises to its people. A country on the doorstep of the States deserves the help of the First World.

Author: Michael Cleland

Michael is a passionate web geek who is sure that most problems can be solved with a big bowl of ice cream. A believer in social good and fan of great, useful content, Michael is an advocate for web accessibility, usability and mobile web based on open standards. You can find Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. You can read more on Michael in the About page.

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