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Michele Malkin compiles a number of responses to the news that the above photo has won the Pulitzer Prize.
Will the photographer show up to claim his 10k?
Here's the text from my first entry on the topic from Baghdad last January - a recap of numerous reports from Roger Simon, Wretchard, and others:
THE al-Qaeda group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for the recent murder of the Governor of Baghdad.
Baghdad's governor, Ali Haidary, was killed by insurgents who swarmed over his convoy from several directions in one of the capital's poorest neighborhoods. Six bodyguards were killed with him. Haidary was a serious, meticulous man who rose from air-conditioning repair merchant to the capital's seat of power through neighborhood, district and city councils established after the fall of Hussein.
The vivid description is all we have, apparently on this day the AP cameraman was otherwise engaged.
Not so last month. On December 19, the Associated Press published a story recounting the murder of election officials in a Baghdad street by "insurgents." The story, in fact, is more a description of the dramatic photographs of the event, and is even headlined "Photo Sequence Shows Rebels Executing Electoral Workers".
Within hours, Wretchard at the Belmont Club wonders "out loud" what the odds are of a photographer being at the right place and time to record such an event, and to have the "courage" to take the pictures rather than to seek cover. Roger Simon comments too.
Internet site Salon.com attempts to re-frame the discussion, labeling Wretchard and Roger as right-wing crackpots and requests anyone wanting to read about it give them money or watch an ad. Here's an excerpt, in which we encounter the preposterous situation of a knowledgeable but anonymous spokesman for a news organization explaining the reason their photographer is anonymous too:
A source at the Associated Press knowledgeable about the events covered in Baghdad on Sunday told Salon that accusations that the photographer was aware of the militants' plans are "ridiculous." The photographer, whose identity the AP is withholding due to safety concerns, was likely "tipped off to a demonstration that was supposed to take place on Haifa Street," said the AP source, who was not at liberty to comment by name. But the photographer "definitely would not have had foreknowledge" of a violent event like an execution, the source said.
Wretchard and Roger respond, free of charge.
Wretchard follows up again here. Power Line notes the goings-on and, fine bloggers that they are,join in, along with LGF. By this point in time I would estimate the combined effects of these four blogs alone had quadrupled the daily readership at Salon. If Salon's motive for publishing an attack on bloggers was to boost sitemeter hits they likely succeded. If their desire was to refute the growing discussion on what did the AP photographer knew and when did he know it they failed.
It's not about Salon, after all. This is serious business, and people are dying for AP profit margins.
Then Jim Romenesko at Poynter Online receives solicited email from Jack Stokes, AP's director of media relations, regarding Salon's story. Said email being key to the issue, I'll reproduce it here in it's entirety:
Several brave Iraqi photographers work for The Associated Press in places that only Iraqis can cover. Many are covering the communities they live in where family and tribal relations give them access that would not be available to Western photographers, or even Iraqi photographers who are not from the area.
Insurgents want their stories told as much as other people and some are
willing to let Iraqi photographers take their pictures. It's important to note, though, that the photographers are not "embedded" with the insurgents. They do not have to swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them just to take their pictures.
Perhaps Mr Stokes expected readers to utter these words now: "ohhhhh... well, that settles that! Never mind then. Carry on!"
Understanding the blogosphere does not seem to be a requirement for "media reations" jobs with the AP.
What we have here is a seminar on journalistic ethics, brought to you by the blogosphere. Beyond the Salon piece, expect the response of the "pros" to echo that of their response to the Rather Forgeries, which I'll quote here in full:
And there you have it. Since no one's going to answer the questions raised, beyond proselytizing policy, freedom of the press, pure neutrality, etc. etc. there's no reason to ask any questions.
Other than those reasons provided by this blogger from Egypt:
The blogoshere is currently discussing the issue of how an Associated Press photographer managed to stand in the middle of one of Iraq's (and probably the world's) most dangerous roads and shot a picture after another of a ruthless murder in the middle of the day. As I mentioned in my previous post, AP's execution pictures raise a lot of questions that we bloggers are responsible to find answers for. In the post-Dan Rather world, we should quit giving huge media outlets the chance to monopolize the flow of information around the world.
The case at hand is much more serious than the fake memos about what young George W. Bush did over 30 years ago. The case at hand has to do with the brutal killing of 2 Iraqi heroes whose only mistake was trying to organize an election in their country. This is a moral case and we, the friends of Iraq and of the troops serving there, should not let this incident pass unnoticed. Either AP has to come up with convincing answers to all our questions, or we will continue our crusade to expose AP's alleged "methods of journalism" in Iraq.
Given that the elections are approaching, more violence is expected, and this event ocurred a couple miles from where I now sit, here's a few of my questions for the AP to ignore:
How much did the AP pay for those shots?"
I mean the snapshots, of course, not the gunshots
How much would exclusive photos of "insurgents" beheading an aid worker be worth to the AP?
How about a series where the "insurgents" plant a roadside bomb, wait for an American food convoy, and detonate it? Maybe with an ensuing gun battle as bonus. How much for photos of that?
Everything has a price, as they say. Would pictures like the ones I've described be worth more or less than those of Muslims killing Muslims?
How about a planned "demonstration" at a polling place on election day in Baghdad? If that same photographer was invited by the same group to a "demonstration" there, how much would he "earn" for his pictures?
It seems a little sketchy to me...how did the photographer KNOW that was going to happen, and why aren't they shooting at him as well? He is obviously close to the execution...
The photog was tipped most likely. That makes this photo out of the category of spot news. They awarding panel was, in my opinion, mistaken and agenda motivated in choosing this image... (Yarbz - Former AP Stringer)Posted by Yarbz at April 5, 2005 02:09 PM
More likely the photographer was part of the hit team.Posted by Killer at April 5, 2005 05:39 PM
Did the "insurgents" get caught? Were they identified/turned in as a result of the photo? If not, then I suspect the photographer was part of the incident.Posted by LynnGunn at April 5, 2005 07:02 PM
At the very least, accomplice after the fact.Posted by Harvey at April 5, 2005 07:10 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)