Photojournalists would argue that their coverage and its graphic nature is motivated by a philanthropic attempt to shock the average person into taking notice of the horrific conditions in which people live in the hope that by viewing these images, people may be compelled to provide aid and support to those effected most by the tragedy. However it could be argued that this dehumanises the people in the photographs. Those who are depicted, who have been directly effected by the situation itself, may not see this as an attempt to garner attention for support to improve their well being, but rather an attempt at creating ‘victims’ exploiting the event in order to boost sales of news papers and increase viewership of news programs. (Loprinzi 2012) In this case the indigenous people depicted in these images, apparently living in states of squalor and abject poverty, are actually a sensationalist form of orientalism, constructing indigenous people as the ‘other’, whitewashing their experience and removing their voice and autonomy.
However the images are successful in conveying a sense of polarisation and contrast; of the assimilation into the globalised western world and the conflict and difficulty with which it is experienced by indigenous people, making starkly obvious the failings of the assimilation policy in improving indigenous well being. I would argue however that by including images such as the ‘no alcohol’ signs and children living in squalid conditions it perpetuates the stigmatisation associated with the intervention policy.(Cala 2013)