Monday, August 07, 2006

Of Course The Pictures From Hezbollah Land Are Dishonest Of Course The Pictures From Hezbollah Land Are Dishonest

Jim Miller on Politics in an article titled: Of Course The Pictures From Hezbollah Land Are Dishonest brings up some interesting points:
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who thinks about how Reuters acquires these photographs. In general, the photographs are taken, not by full time employees of Reuters, but by stringers or free lance photographers who live in the Middle East, often in Lebanon.

And the pictures are taken — and this is the key point — in areas controlled by a terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Now, with that in mind, ask yourself these questions: Which photographers will Hezbollah allow to operate in their territory? What conditions will they impose on those photographers? And what will happen to photographers who displease Hezbollah?

As soon as you think about those questions, the answers should be obvious. Hezbollah will allow only photographers they believe will help their cause. Hezbollah will allow them to operate only as long as they think the photographers are helping the cause of Hezbollah. And photographers who displease Hezbollah will get expelled at best, and murdered at worst. (And Middle East journalists who displeased terrorist organizations have been murdered, from time to time.)

In those circumstances, it would be naive to expect the photographs from Hezbollah Land to be honest, just as it would be naive to expect photographs produced with the cooperation of a communist dictatorship to be honest...

Why are they so gullible? I'm not entirely sure, but I think the desire for access to a hot news area prevents them from seeing what should be obvious, that Hezbollah sees them as a propaganda arm and will do what they can to ensure that Reuters, and other Western news organizations, get the "right" pictures, and stories. (And perhaps, in private, editors at Reuters would admit that they are transmitting propaganda, but justify it by arguing that they have to slant their coverage in order to get access.)

That would explain why Reuters is not planning, as far as I can tell, to investigate the other pictures they have gotten from Haqq. (Or from similar photographers.) Doing an investigation would disturb their relationship with their photographers and make it harder for Reuters to provide photographs from the area. That the photographs are often deceptive, and sometimes blatantly false, is something the people running Reuters don't even want to think about.


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Blogger 99 Proof said...

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11:31 AM  

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