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Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Occupy Oakland: What’s with the kitten photo?

The Post ran this photo of a police officer petting a kitten left behind by Occupy Oakland protesters. (Ben Margot/AP)
There have been a few questions about the Post’s choice of a photo of an Oakland police officer petting a kitten left behind by Occupy Oakland protesters, after police and protesters clashed violently in Oakland Tuesday night, noting it doesn’t reflect the tensions seen at Occupy Oakland.

We’ve covered the violence in separate blog posts — see photos and tweets from the scene and reports on the level of force used — but also asked photo editor Carol McKay to explain the thinking behind the image she chose to offer to editors for the Page A3 item on Occupy Oakland:

A: from Carol McKay, photo editor

When I was looking at the Tuesday wire service photographs from the Oakland City Hall grounds, the violent protest images were not in the mix because that confrontation had not yet occurred.  The late-night, violent protest was in response to the Tuesday eviction by the Oakland police.

Even though the story, written later in the evening, included information about the arrests and tear gas, no news images had moved by our production deadline, probably because Oakland is on Pacific time--a three-hour difference.  

The photograph was chosen because it was a visual "moment" in time showing a police officer doing something interesting--not just walking through tents and trash.  The wire service images that moved overnight and this morning offer a much different look at last night's protest.

If you want to ask us more about the photo choice or our coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests, leave your comments here or weigh in on Twitter using the hash tag #askthepost.

By Washington Post editors  |  05:30 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Tags:  Q&A

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