White House photo access controls public image

Rather than permit photojournalists to shoot in the White House, the Obama administration prefers to issue official pictures taken by its own photographers. News organizations looking to illustrate events of national and global importance usually have no choice but to use the official photos, but the Associated Press says those photos are so staged and crafted that they are really propaganda.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 5.16.22 PMThe Associated Press, the largest U.S. Wire service, has only been allowed to photograph Obama in his office on two occasions, according to Associated Press Director of Photography Santiago Lyon.

Lyon said the administration’s control of photo access and use of official photos amounts to propaganda.

He said no official explanation of the lack of access has been given and that greater access was common under previous presidential administrations.

“This works because newspapers use these handout photos,” said Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor of the Associated Press. She urged newspaper editors at the Associated Press Media Editors national conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday to not use these “press release” photos.

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