Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by charityfundraiser, Aug 23, 2010.
Thank you! My goodness! This is not "sleepy young one rubbing eyes" syndrome, or "itchy eyes" disease... aargh! J
Thanks for bringing this up. I've noticed this a lot and it does irk me, that and using the term "Chronic Fatigue". I can't WAIT for that to stop.
Ha! That always bugs me too. But it's just laziness/cheapness - it's easier to license that kind of meaningless stock photo than to get an actual photo that has some relevance to the subject matter.
I have noticed, though, that since the wire services seem to be emphasizing the "mouse virus" angle, we are suddenly seeing a lot of stock photos of mice.
It is our fault that they call it chronic fatigue.
Email and tell them that the correct name is ME or ME/CFS.
PANDORA, CAA, WPI or somebody should have stock photos of patients available for download by the media. If no photos are available, how can they use them? They should also have pictures of the virus, etc.
The poor graphic designer is just trying to find the closest thing to go with the article, and there's always a deadline, so they go to a stock photo service - which, of course, doesn't have any suitable photos.
Or we could stock up the stock photo services, or we could make photos available on Wikimedia Commons.
caledonia, good point about getting stock photos together.
At the ME/CFS Worldwide Patient Alliance, we are working on this.
Would you like to help? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To be fair - it's not a visually exciting disease, is it? I usually end up cringing at the photos they use too though. Just use nothing? A photo of someone prior to getting ill?
There was a short film about ME made by one of the charities playing in UK cinemas in the 80s? 90s? of a young woman who starts off all happy, active and healthy and ends up looking like death and really miserable (I remember she wore sunglasses in one of the frames but can't remember if that was before or after!). I remember finding the image so poignant, given that I had had ME for years when I saw it and got it in my twenties, that I sat in the dark in the cinema with tears streaming down my face and had to turn away. I thought the imagery was really powerful.
Maybe a before and after photo would be the thing?
I yawn all the time, it seems appropriate. I thought that picture in the linked story was a great photo. How else are you going to represent the disorder? Show a picture of a normal looking person just sitting there? Yeah, that will have a lot of impact.
You realize also that by badgering reporters and news outlets to complain about, of all things, the picture they're using, you're not doing anyone any favors, right? Anything much other than writing to tell them what a great job they're doing in even covering the story is probably doing more harm than good.
i'm with Kite! let's thank the media not pick them apart!!!
i see the photos, i'm a bit annoyed too - but come on, it's small compared to the very big step we have taken today! let's be positive & gracious!
I think it is quite possible to word commentary to the media in a respectful and gracious way, while directing them to more accurate imagery they can use in the future. I should think they would be happy for positive feedback from the patient community.
This is pretty funny. Not related to ME/CFS at all, but just to give you an idea of how little effort is usually devoted to finding the right image to go with a story:
Observe the photo caption in this story about flying ants swarming in London.
Pfft! They should call it ME instead of chronic fatigue. chronic fatigue doesn't sound like something one should take to serious but ME does, it sounds like MS.
i actually agree with that Tia! i do think ME sounds like MS & therefore makes sense. i dont' usually get involved in the name stuff cuz - a rose is a rose i guess. plus i can't do a thing about it. so i don't really get worked up about the name, but this time i have to agree. ME does sound like MS & MS is similar to what we have & taken seriously.
Ha! That's hilarious!
Show them to this Forum and use DIPICs photo, he has volunteered it a one point, we can double check. He looks sick to me!
There is also an issue with it it leads to everyone thinking we are just tired. Better if they had a photo of a ME/CFS person who is on oxygen (like Andrea Whittlemore), or someone looking very pale and ill (i myself have been able to pick out who is a CFS/ME person and who isnt, one day at a hospital where a study was being done.. they looked sick!.. big dark bags under eyes.. and pale.. and the body motions.. having to rest the head when sitting, unusual postures etc). i soo want to get away from that tiredness issue as we ARE SICK with body postures often showing weakness.
How about some photos of those wearing dark glasses.. as some often do as they cant stand light. (another way i could pick some at the hospital with ME, someone had dark glasses on inside.. when i queried.. it turns out i was right everytime, i could pick the ME's from their healthy drivers).
How about some ME people looking like they have flu. I know i used to look bad due to those symptoms... eyes puffed up at times almost shut.. looking like a bullfrog!
i nowdays rarely feel tired, i have more of a problem with dizziness and weakness and can have that without any tiredness at all. the tiredness thing is a myth for many with ME (who may instead go into body spasming etc.. before they even hit an exhaustion level). Tiredness for me probably rates 6th when it comes to my symptoms (and exhaustion would rate even far more further down my symptom list as i get everything else more)
I have to agree with Mr. Kite. We don't actually know if that bloke in the photo has ME/CFS or not. It's an invisible disease.... that's a big part of our problem, isn't it?
ME is no more an "invisible disease" than cancer or MS or the 'flu. "Invisible illness" is just a get-out clause for any bigot to excuse their behaviour and I wish people wouldn't keep furthering that myth that it's okay to put the boot into some illnesses because they're supposedly intrinsically not cool. Tell people you have cancer or MS and funny how that will shut them up, isn't it.
But back to the using pics of healthy people acting "tired". The fact is the picture should at the worst be neutral or should preferably inform reader and complement the text.
A healthy person isn't neutral because it comfirms prejudices that ME is trivial, and that it's defined by being "tired". It's not informative because it doesn't show in anyway how ME is a disease as serious as any other major disease, and it's hardly complementary to the text because it says nothing about viruses, infection, risks to the blood supply, pathology, biomedical research, etc.
At least showing trappings of disability disabuses the public. And of course everyone is technically disabled (the CCD requiring 50% disability; employment law). Why waste a chance to teach the public something?
There are so many different angles they could have taken, doesn't even have to be a picture of a person (or mouse).
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