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Fully Focused: Journalists have been doing impressive, respectful work during the Paris attacks

Columnist Lauren Bacho discusses the Paris attacks and the photographers covering them.

On Friday, Paris suffered horrible attacks that shook the nation. I personally do not know what it is like to be in that kind of situation, but I do have few friends who I know were in Paris at the time of the attacks. Most of my Friday was spent on social media and every news source I know of, desperately looking for information about what was going on.

I’d like to take the time to applaud the journalists out there covering the attacks. It’s a hard situation to report on and to photograph, but everything that I read and saw was informative and helpful. What I found to be quite comforting was how well the photographers covered the attacks. It’s such a sensitive situation, but they were able to take some wonderful photos from it.

The New York Times had four strong galleries with photographs from a variety of different photographers and publications that covered the event extremely well. Those photographers were able to go into that high crisis situation and take photographs of people having extremely vulnerable moments. I respect those photographers greatly because it’s very difficult to be a journalist in that kind of situation.

The first gallery I looked at, “Deadly Attacks in Paris," was more of who was on the scene at the time. That is of course vital, because it was breaking news and no one could have foreseen these attacks, but the photographers were ready and on the scene to help the rest of the world know what was going on. The second gallery I found, “Attacks in Central Paris,” showed a lot more of the grief people were feeling. The photographers really put themselves in that situation and immersed themselves with the Parisians. They continue to cover the extreme loss that Paris is feeling in the galleries “Grief in Paris” and “Paris in Mourning.”

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It takes a lot of tact to be able to get people to trust you in this kind of situation. People are overcome with emotion and very rarely do they want people in their space taking photos of them at such a hard time in their lives. The trust that those photographers have been able to build with the Parisians in such a short time is remarkable. That shows the mark of a true photojournalist: to be able to handle situations like that and make compelling photos without exploiting your subjects.

I feel the journalists and photojournalists have been doing an incredible job covering the attacks and the aftermath. I wish they didn’t have to cover that situation, but they have been in a very respectful way.

People around the world have been reacting in a respectful way as well. PBS has a lot of photos that show people standing in solidarity with Paris. Those photographers are giving the world reasons to see why we should stand with Paris, and they have done incredible work in such a devastating time.

I feel greatly for the people of Paris. Je suis Paris.

Lauren Bacho is a sophomore studying photojournalism and a photo editor for The Post. Do you think the photographers have done a good job covering the attacks? Tweet her @Visual_Bacho or email her at

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