Morality of the NY Post subway photo

December 5, 2012
Fiery Cushman
A freelance photographer happened to be on the scene in New York when one man pushed another onto the subway tracks. The New York Post ultimately ran a photo on its front page, sparking widespread outrage. Based on his research, Brown University psychologist Fiery Cushman suggests that what makes people uncomfortable about the photo may be the idea of profiting from tragedy.



When tragedy occurs, who may profit?Newspapers around the country announced the tragic death of Ki-Suck Han, the man pushed in front of a New York subway car on Monday. Quickly, however, attention turned to an element of the news reporting itself. On the controversial front cover of the New York Post on Tuesday, a full-page photo showed the train hurtling toward Han. Dramatically captured by a freelance photographer while events unfolded, the photograph ran under the headline: “Pushed onto the subway track, this man is about to die.”