The Corner

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

That’s the question I ask in

my Dallas Morning News piece this

morning. That headline runs under a

photograph of a US soldier standing in an Iraqi classroom. The answer, which

is in the next headline, is this: “It’s the only one like it we could find.”

It seems that we went looking for wire service photos of U.S. soldiers in

Iraq doing good things to help the Iraqi people. There’s no shortage of good

news to report from the rebuilding, though little of that news seems to make

it into the American news media. Our photo department did a search of the

wire archives for the past month to six weeks, and found only one

photo that fit our broad description. The photo desk said that if these

photos aren’t being shot in Iraq, it’s because there’s no demand for them

from papers and magazines back home.

This doesn’t necessarily tell us that there’s a problem of media bias

against the war. It’s extremely dangerous to be in Iraq covering the war

right now, and newspapers are going to send their photographers and

reporters to the bigger news events of the day (e.g., battles, gunfights).

Few papers are going to risk the lives of their journalists to cover a

school opening. But schools are opening, and Americans are not

getting the full picture.

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