The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

The company REUTERS keeps

Omar Abed Qusini, via web conference
One quick question: Is it appropriate for photographers who are members of a group called Artists Against the War (or translated via google) to be sent into war zones to document the events as they transpire? And, even if Mr. Qusini were not a member of this group, would his objectivity still be called into question by his association with them?

I mean, can we expect someone of that nature to be non-partial in their coverage of events?

Can we trust that they'd be able to tell us the truth about something they're wholly opposed to?

I'd certainly like to hear what you think, whether you're an interested observer, or are a wire photographer. Do memberships in groups like this affect the coverage you would expect from current events?

 Tags: fauxtography omar abed qusini REUTERS #Israel/Lebanon War 2006


#1 mr nobody 19-Aug-2006
Lets put it this way Brian, reading your blog I wouldn't trust you to provide objective coverage of any photojournalism-related topic, let alone a middle eastern war. Does that answer your question?
#2 Brian 19-Aug-2006
The difference between mainstream photojournalism and me, is that you will never find [i]me[/i] going around claiming to be the only source of "unbiased" information about any given topic.

The press, on the other hand, insists that they, and only they, can give us "unbiased" information, yet when you look at their reports, it's fairly clear that they prefer one side over the other.

Which position sounds more honest to you?
#3 Woody Berch 23-Aug-2006
I'm trying to get in touch with Omar Abed -- if you know his email or if you're reading this, could you send me an email? I have a question about getting a photograph you took at the Askar invasion last week when the IOF destroyed the Annadi house.

Hope to hear from someone.


#4 Tom 26-Oct-2007
It beggers belief to think that someone with so obviously skewed and biased interpretations of photographs and reports on subjects you have so obviously little personal experience of can claim to be revealing the bias in said reports, photographs etc.

This is some of the most biased and subjective social and political commentary I have ever read. Especially galling is the tone of your writing which is distinctly pompous and self righteous.

Exposing Photojournalism? Objectivity? I see nothing of the kind here.

For example, to suggest (using the thinly disguised rhetoric and italicised emphasis) that a member of a group called Artists Against The War is incapable of adequately reporting on conflict based upon their professed views on the nature of warfare is preposterous. I have met many conflict photographers who are wholly against warfare and report on it in order to show how brutal the reality of war is and how it is one of the most horrific of all humankind's activities. If this is what you would regard as a biased view then you should perhaps don a flak jacket and go to a warzone yourself in order to show us the content and form of unbiased war reporting.

I'd just like to briefly asses one quote from yourself:

"Can we trust that they'd be able to tell us the truth about something they're wholly opposed to?"

To suggest that someone with an opinion on something cannot tell the 'truth' about that something reveals a whole host of flaws in your general outlook and completely negates the validity of your statements. You claim to have the thread of common sense and logic pervading your life, yet you can write the above statement without realising the paradoxical nature of it within it's context?

It is a shame, because reasoned critique of the media and it's output is sorely needed, however after reading several posts then I can only conclude that this blog is not the place where I will find it.
#5 Brian C. Ledbetter 27-Oct-2007

If you can explain how this, this, this, this, and this are "anti-war," I'm all ears. From where I'm sitting, these photographers are most certainly [i]not[/i] anti-war, but are in fact quite [i]pro-war[/i], so long as people who hate the West are winning.

As far as the predominant focus on the Middle East that you noticed here? I subscribe to as many photo wires as humanly possible, and you know what? On any given weekday, over 100 photographs are published from both Iraq and Afghanistan each, every day. After that, there are generally 80-100 published from "Palestine," a majority of which focuses on Palestinian terrorists. This is followed by Lebanon (60-80 photos a day), and if nothing major is happening, Pakistan and Iran (20-60 photos a day).

You catch what I'm saying here? A majority of the focus of [i]photojournalists[/i] is on the Middle East. Is it [i]my[/i] fault for pointing that out? Hardly.

I do occasionally cover other areas, though, so it's not like I'm a [i]one[/i]-trick pony. I'm just [i]mostly[/i] a one-trick pony.


Hope this helps explain the issues you've taken with my website. And please do keep in touch, even if it is merely to criticize me. I welcome inputs from [i]all[/i] viewpoints, and will gladly give space to just about anyone who is mad at me. If that makes me "pompous," then I reckon I'm guilty as charged.

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