Have you ever looked at a picture in a newspaper or magazine and questioned why such a disturbing image would be printed? Images that reach the emotions of viewers have drawn controversy from readers since photography was invented. 

Readers today are quick to comment vigorously when the media publishes harsh photos both online and in print. This sparks the debate between the right to know information and the invasion of privacy, which often takes place on a slippery slope.

Hal Buell has handled many pictures as such over his half-century career in news photography. Buell, a legendary photo editor responsible for selecting and publishing many important and controversial news photos, is the former head of the Worldwide Photography Service at the Associated Press (AP) and is known for his work with famous photos from the Vietnam War.  

Join Buell for an interactive presentation talking about famous works of photojournalism that were controversial. He’ll also interact with the audience about broader issues of photography, controversy, coverage of violent events and more. The presentation will ultimately offer an inside look into journalistic ethics and taste. 

The lecture is co-sponsored by the UNM Communication and Journalism Department, the UNM Law School Art Committee, New Mexico Press Women, and the NM Humanities Council. It will take place in the main auditorium of George Pearl Hall, located at 2401 Central Ave. NE, across from the Frontier, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Buell’s presentation is free and open to the public.

For more information about the presentation, contact Michelle Quisenberry at the New Mexico Humanities Council at 505-633-7374 or micaele@nmhum.org.

UNM thanks the New Mexico Humanities Council and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the Democracy and the Informed Citizen Initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.