Volume 90, Issue 96

Wednesday, March 26, 1997

red, white and blue


Press freedom gone too far?

Re: Kickstart my Heart, March 17

To the Editor:

I have chosen to write this letter in response to the decision to run an inappropriate photo printed in The Gazette, March 17. The photo was of a captured moment of the Underground Groove's fashion show held on Saturday, March 15. The purpose of the show was to raise awareness and funds for persons suffering from AIDS. Prior to appearing in the show I had spent nine weeks in preparation for an event I felt was of a worthy cause.

I must and have taken full responsibility for my actions in the show, understanding the nature of the show to be risque. One of my main concerns in becoming involved with the show was to uphold a conservative approach. Throughout the show I feel that I succeeded in presenting the fashions in a respectable and appropriate manner. What I can not accept is the fact that my image has been exploited and demeaned for the purpose of The Gazette and thereof individuals.

For the purpose of the scene in which I appeared in I acted out a cheerleader kick in the air, a kick which lasted a brief second. The way in which the photo and its caption underneath has been portrayed conveys a message that I was making a vulgar and provocative attempt to expose myself. I strongly believe that the photo and its implications have left a scar on my person and credibility.

I believe the photo to be ultimately misleading and a direct attempt at humiliating and degrading my person. The photo is an unfair representation as it was shot from a close and lowered angle by the photographer. The view which was portrayed was not shared by the audience.

In regards to the lack of sensitivity and respect The Gazette extended to me, I can not begin to express my disgust. I would have expected the courtesy of asking for consent to run the photo. This is a courtesy I deserve from the photographer who I have known for nearly four years. We obviously held different opinions on the matter. I also find it hard to believe that of the many rolls of film taken at the show the photographer was unable to choose a more suitable representation.

The way in which the decision was later dealt with also appalled me. I was told that The Gazette has been criticized for being too conservative. I find this to be a ludicrous rationalization for doing whatever one pleases without taking into consideration who it affects and how it affects them. I was told that The Gazette has a responsibility to the community as a whole and not to the individual. This is a statement I find insulting and rather backward as each individual creates the community.

I find the actions regarding the submission of the photo and of its approval to be callous and inconsiderate. I also believe that the photographer was willing to trade the image of a fellow student for his own glorification and ultimate satisfaction. I believe that an apology will at least ease the embarrassment I have suffered.

Cari Pine
History/WLC IV

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997