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Author Topic: When will this stop  (Read 916 times)

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« on: April 21, 2011, 10:34:10 PM »

When the first Western photojournalists covering the conflict in Libya died yesterday, the world found out about it thru Facebook and Twitter. Now the Facebook page of one of the murdered has turned into a defacto commemorative for the web community to grieve and honor his death.

 Oscar-nominated shutter-bug and filmmaker, Tim Hetherington, Forty, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated Getty Pictures photojournalist Chris Hondros, 41, died by a mortar attack in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Two other photographers, Guy Martin and Michael Brown were badly hurt in the same shelling. Martin remains in an imperative condition and Brown's wounds are reported not to be life-endangering.

 Over the passage of the day, Tim Hetherington's Facebook page became a unplanned commemorative, with masses of condolences to his family and tributes to his work and memory. Mate and commenter Lorena Turner's message summarizes the thoughts of the photography community : "Let's celebrate his contribution to our knowledge of war and the complex interactions inside it. Tim's loss will be felt by everyone with an eye and mind that's engaged in the world."

 The 1st mention of Hetherington and Hondros's deaths became known around 9:30am PST through Facebook updates by fellow photographer Andre Liohn, who was with Hetherington in a Misrata infirmary. "Sad reports Tim Hetherington died in Misrata now when covering the front line. Chris Hondros is in a serious status," wrote Liohn.

 Within mins, in pursuit of additional information, friends and colleagues had shared and tweeted Liohn's words. All hoped that the reports were inaccurate, a wayward rumor, a mistake or even a sick joke any fact other than Hetherington's passing. Simultaneously, contrary statements about whether Hondros was alive or not circulated.

 Tweeting slowed. Short on confirmed information, suitors and best friends alike, withdrew their fingertips from keyboards and asked if Hetherington's family had been informed. If he wasn't dead, this looks like an injurious rumor to avoid. If he had been finished then they as Twitter and Facebook users were messengers of Hetherington's death notice. Social networking demonstrated both its strength to spread info and its constraints in corroborating fact.


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