Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 17, 2019

Chatting the Pictures: Favorite 2019 News Photographs By Women

Welcome to a special, year end edition of “Chatting the Pictures.” In this webcast, we focus on three outstanding photos this year by women photographers.  

In each 10-minute webcast, co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, discuss three prominent photos in the news. The program is broken into three segments: “The News,” “The Look,” and “The Pick.” “The News” examines 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.

For “The News,” we discuss a photo by Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times. It documents a meeting on Capitol Hill on September 27th, 2019, between freshman Democratic Congresswomen from moderate districts, all with military or national security experience. Concluding that America’s election security was at stake, they decided to support the impeachment of Donald Trump. Ultimately, this meeting and that consensus tipped the balance for the historic effort to move forward.

Our photo for “The Look” was taken by Kholood Eid for a November 2019 New York Times story about child sexual abuse and digital media. When 7 and 11, these two midwestern sisters were sexually abused by their father. According to the article, many pictures and videos of them are still on the internet. We discuss how the embrace and the anonymity, the verticality, and aspects of the setting makes this widely-lauded portrait so powerful.

“The Pick” offering highlights a photo by Pilar Olivares for Reuters. It shows a demonstrator taking cover behind a makeshift shield during a protest in Santiago, Chile, in November 2019. We discuss the photo in the context of efforts to classify the use of “less lethal” weapons (LLWs), such as water cannons, as torture; the impact of leaderless mass protests around the world; as well as the suggestive power of the shields and the cape.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

Slideshow

Photo: Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
September 27th, 2019 on Capitol Hill. In the midst of the last votes before a two week recess, freshman Congress members with a task force to prevent foreign interference in future elections meet in the Capitol. Pictured: Abigail Spanberger  (D-Va.) Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.).
Photo: Kholood Eid for The New York Times
F. and E. were sexually abused as children. A digital trail of the crimes continues to haunt the sisters a decade later.
Photo: Pilar Olivares/Reuters
A demonstrator takes cover behind a makeshift shield during a protest in Santiago, Chile, November 15, 2019.

  • Panelists
  • 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.

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