September 18, 2013

The Naval Yard Shooting Photo That Wasn't –Then Was

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I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post Tuesday at The Atlantic Wire. Because our goal is to promote visual and media literacy and, above all, encourage citizens to actively read (versus passively consume) news images, The Atlantic’s summary of these photos is something to take note of.

Of course, I’m referring to the photos taken by a DC staffer that exploded on the social nets on Tuesday after being tweeted by a colleague. For a good stretch of internet time, they were assumed to offer a first look at the shooting at the DC Naval Yard.

Photo critiques in general are not that rare. What is is one that actually lists off errant details that should have raised a red flag. At the top of that list, the post calls out the importance of geography. Without knowledge of DC, the neighborhood and the specific location of that drugstore, who knew off the bat that these photos were situated about a 1/2 mile from the Navy Yard. There are other elements cited by the article, however, that any of us could have raised questions about. For example:

Why was there no sign of blood?


Would people have picked up and moved a gunshot victim to the ground on a concrete street corner?

(As regards the lack of blood, the speculation is that the man on the ground might have suffered a heart attack.)

To the extent photos, when you really stop to study them,  keep offering more information, I’m wondering what else you’re seeing in these pictures that might have caused one to pause before the images lit up the social sphere?

UPDATE: So Mr. Pandit was involved in the shooting incident, and then got moved.

(photos: Don Andres, Congressional staffer via Tim Hogan – ‏@timjhogan/Twitter 16 Sep caption 1: Tim Hogan ‏@timjhogan Another photo from the scene. Our staff is safe. #NavyYardShooting caption 2: From one of our staffers sheltering in place in SE DC. #NavyYardShooting

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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