the vicarious life

Donna photographing her daughter in 2009.
A voyeur spying on a voyeur. Those of us in the vicarious life, like Donna and me, are a little twisted. (Although I would maintain Donna is more twisted than I am!) We set out to do stories believing we were helping people. Helping people to know they were not alone, helping to raise awareness, helping to make things better. And so we seduced our subjects, convinced them to let us tell their stories. Almost everyone wants validation, to know that they are unique and important, so the actual process of gathering a story is flattering to the subject. But people have been harmed in the making of these stories, too. Most people were not prepared for the exposure, and some of them got burned.

In truth, we do it as much for ourselves as others. Witness: Clare Hollingworth, war correspondent, who died at 105 with her passport by her bed. Her obit here.


CBA said...

What is this?? Reporters remorse?

What has brought this about? Rather unlike you. Did you cut your hair? Remember what happened to Samson.

Claudia said...

This is no new feeling. I have often wondered if the journalist's proper task is to harass those in power, not the powerless.