Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 16, 2009

Gaza By Guided Tour

Concerning yesterday’s Israeli military photo op for Western reporters held just inside Gaza, it seems the primary achievement was to draw attention to the press ban itself.

These stills from the Sky News video report are indicative of the trappings. In the first shot, we see Israeli Colonel Herzi (no last name offered) approaching with notebook in hand, observed by the NYT to contain his talking points. In symbolism that is all too revealing, we see the soldier-publicist backed up by the authority of a tank, it’s turret ominously aimed directly ahead of him.

The second shot offers a scene that would not be unusual if the circumstances involved a press meeting elsewhere. Here though, in this former vegetable field in al-Atatra which Hamas was allegedly using as a launching site, with one person extending a mike and another recording with a hand-held camera, the scene mostly documents the consumption, by “captive” Western reporters, of what they’re being fed.

Video report here.

(Note: I would appreciate it if your comments addressed either the content or the political dynamics of the imagery.)

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