October 26, 2018
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Co-opting “the Caravan”; CNN and the Pipe Bombs; Saudi Ambush

Welcome to the latest edition of Chatting the Pictures, a weekly, micro-edition of the Reading the Pictures Salon. In each 20 minute webcast, co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, discuss three prominent photos in the news.

By Michael Shaw
About the Video

The program is broken into three segments: “The News,” “The Look,” and “The Pick.” “The News” examine a hard news image for its content value. “The Look” focuses on a news photo for its artistry and style. And “The Pick,” asks what made a high profile photo so unique to editors or the public.

“The News” photo this week was taken by John Moore for Getty Images. We explore how this image of Hondurans traveling northward to seek political asylum has been reframed and even co-opted by domestic American politics and President Trump.

For “The Look,” we discuss a unique photo by Craig Ruttle posted on Instagram in the aftermath of multiple pipe bombs mailed to well known Democrats who have been the target of attacks by the President. In the image, a CNN anchor, Kate Bolduan, stands in front of a camera after CNN’s headquarters at Time Warner Center in New York was evacuated. In the background is an NYPD bomb disposal unit.

“The Pick” this week features a propaganda photo distributed by the Saudi Press Agency. The tense, painful and clearly staged image features Salah Khashoggi, the son of the slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, being greeted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman while cameras loom.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

The Full Edit

Take a closer look at some of the images from our larger photo edit.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images.

Caption: CIUDAD HIDALGO, MEXICO – OCTOBER 21, 2018: A migrant caravan, which has grown into the thousands, walks into the interior of Mexico after crossing the Guatemalan border on October 21, 2018 near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico The caravan of Central Americans plans to eventually reach the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to cancel the recent trade deal with Mexico and withhold aid to Central American countries if the caravan isn’t stopped before reaching the U.S.

Photo: Craig Ruttle.

Caption: October 24, 2018. An NYPD bomb disposal unit, background, stands by at the Time Warner Center in New York after a pipe bomb was discovered, meant for CNN’s NY HQ in the same building, which was evacuated. Similar devices were sent to Hillary Clinton, the Obamas, CNN and possibly other targets. Pictured: CNN anchor, Kate Bolduan.

Photo: Saudi Press Agency.

Caption: October 23, 2018. In what appeared to be a staged moment, Crown Prince Mohammed shook hands Tuesday with Jamal Khashoggi’s son Salah. This photo was provided by the official Saudi news agency.

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Communication Professor, University of Illinois. Author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression and Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs. Moderator, Reading the Pictures Salon.

Show All


Comments Powered by Disqus