Analyzing the AP's Pulitzer-winning photos

This year, the prize went to the Associated Press staff for, as the Pulitzer organization’s site says, “its stunning series of photographs of bloody yearlong combat inside Iraqi cities.”

I looked at the twenty photographs and broke them into groups on the basis of content. Here are my results:

? U.S. troops injured, dead, or mourning: 3
(2, 3, 11)
? Iraqi civilians harmed by the war: 7
(4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 18)
? Insurgents looking determined or deadly: 3
(6, 15, 20)
? US troops looking overwhelmed or uncertain: 3
(7, 12, 14)
? US troops controlling Iraqi prisoners: 2
(16, 17)
? Iraqis celebrating attacks on US forces: 2
(1, 19)

Equally telling is what the photos don’t show:

? US forces looking heroic: 0
? US forces helping Iraqi civilians: 0
? Iraqis expressing support for US forces: 0
? Iraqis expressing opposition to insurgents: 0

Not only do the twenty photos consistently portray the American invasion and occupation of Iraq as an unmitigated disaster, but, as Michelle Malkin notes, at least one of them (number 20, depicting the insurgents’ shocking execution of Iraqi election workers) has been exposed (by Powerline, Belmont Club, and others) as the result of at least some degree of coordination between the AP photographer and the insurgents themselves. –“GaijinBiker” — Analyzing the AP’s Pulitzer-winning photos (Riding Sun)

The conspiracy theories surrounding photo 20 (a picture taken during the execution of election workers) are a bit overblown, but the assessment of the ideological content of these photos is thought-provoking.



Of course, it’s a truism of journalism that the most unusual and striking events get the biggest play. It’s not news if a dog wags its tail, for example, but it is news if a dog attacks a toddler.