The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

It's All About the Context

I always enjoy getting e-mails from readers, but every now and then, one of y'all put things in a way that I couldn't even hope to improve upon. Here's one such e-mail, courtesy Erik W., who has written to point out one of my personal pet peeves—Articles that discuss a positive aspect of any given issue, that are packed with photographs that illustrate said issue in the negative:

Spot the Context (click to zoom)
Saw this on yahoo, seems like something you might be interested in, being an abuse of photojournalism and all. Article title: "Poll: More in US see progress in Iraq"


Notice the photo following the headline. Caption: "An injured Iraqi girl is treated by medics from 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment at..."

If they were more honest with themselves they'd just say, "More people think the war is making progress. In related news, more people are wrong." Or possibly, "More people think the war is making progress. However, this poor, innocent Iraqi girl ruthlessly mutilated by the crusaders would beg to differ."

I know, I know, examples of bias like this are a dime a dozen... For some reason this one really angered me, though, and I had to let someone know, if you know what I mean.

Also, congrats on the finals, you lucky bastard. My last one is on Thursday.

Erik W.
In Yahoo!'s defence, I will say that there's a good chance that the photograph in question was automatically selected from the Yahoo! Iraq Photos slideshow, which is itself an automatically-generated collection of pictures from a collection of news photo wires. (It's not unusual to see stories about the other Lebanon in the Lebanon Photos group, for example.) That's not to say that this type of bias doesn't happen in the non-automated portion of the news world, though.

Still, it's not like positive photos of Iraq are all that hard to find.

Thanks for writing, Erik! And good luck with your final on Thursday!



#1 Yishai 12-Dec-2007
I thought it also ironic that the first sidebar item of this AP article was about the AP photographer indicted for terrorism. heh.
#2 Brian C. Ledbetter 13-Dec-2007

Haha, I didn't even notice that! It sure [i]does[/i] add to ye irony, indeed. :)

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