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The Story the Campaign Pictures Tell
The vast majority of these photos were not taken by Post photographers but by wire service shooters. Most Post photos of the candidates were taken in Washington. But all the photos are selected, sized and put on the pages by Post editors.
Ed Thiede, assistant managing editor for the news desk, said that the numbers are "eye-opening. We should be more cognizant." Du Cille and Thiede were both surprised at the numbers. Du Cille said, "The disparity in the numbers is indeed hard to reconcile. As photojournalists, we always strive to be fair. We have tried to be balanced, but it seems that in a large operation such as ours, we need to monitor the use of political images even more closely."
Thiede said that the difference "reflects that Obama is new to the scene and has had more events that had more visual impact. Obama's campaign is better at putting him in situations that mean better photos," and too many of McCain's photos were static and at a podium.
Readers look at photos when they don't read stories. But Obama leads in stories since June 4, too -- 139 to 94. They were both featured in 23 stories. Again, part of this is due to Obama being the new kid and less well known.
But these kinds of discrepancies feed distrust on the part of readers, eshttp://pecially conservative ones, who already complain that The Post is all for Obama. Next week, I will examine the stories.
Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.