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Old Sep 29, 2010, 1:57 PM   #1
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Default Bias in professional photography

I am fairly new here, and fairly new to photography and art in general. Yesterday I went to a public meeting in which there was a lot of debate from people on two sides of a proposal. In the newspaper this morning, they had an article about the meeting with two images attached. There was one photo of people from each side of the debate.

I would sincerely like to here some opinions of the two photos. You are welcome to read the article also, but please keep this thread specifically about the photos.
My question is: Is their bias here by the photographer (or editor who chose the photographs)?
Please let me know your opinion, and why. Again, I am specifically speaking about the photographs. This was a 6+ hour meeting and I am sure that hundreds of photographs were taken. Why choose these two?
Here is the link to the images in the article. You will have to click on the second photo to make it bigger.
http://helenair.com/news/local/educa...tml?mode=image
Thanks,
Soup
P.S. I hope it is OK to create a thread like this. Moderator, if not, please feel free to get rid of it.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 2:12 PM   #2
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i dont see any bias, i see a photo for and a photo against, i dont see how you think its biased.
well not without actualy being there and seeing what went off.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 2:15 PM   #3
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is it bias or just more zealous supporters of yes?
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 2:16 PM   #4
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I didn't read the article so I'm not sure of any of the details, but to me it looks like the editor is making the sex ed side look positive, exciting etc and those voting no to be boring and asleep.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 2:24 PM   #5
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First - let me say this - there is ALWAYS bias in any media outlet. Always has been, always will be. The concept of 'neutrally reporting the news' doesn't exist. Bias isn't always left vs. right either - it could be a bias towards sensationalism too.

Now, having looked at the two photos I will say the two photos convey a very different message about the supporters of the two sides. Not having been there I can't say if there were protesters outside for both sides and people waiting to talk inside for both sides. I cannot say whether there was a conscious choice to show the different sides like this or if it's a perceived slight and the reality is not much thought was given to selected images. But without doubt, bias exists on the part of photographers and editors alike. They're people. I'll even add that bias isn't always manifested consciously either.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 2:44 PM   #6
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I will try not to show my bias here, but this is what I saw last night, and what I am seeing in the photos.
There were atleast 6 "NO" people to every 1 "YES" person at the meeting. There were professional, articulate and attractive people there from both sides. Conversely, there were also less educated, less well spoken, and less attractive people there from both sides.
To me, the picture depicts the "YES" crowd as fun, happy, and excited. The picture has good color, is turned to an angle, and shows some artistic skill. Everyone in the picture is happy. The picture of the "NO" crowd is more like a bad snapshot of some disgruntled, bored, and/or angry people. It has little artistic value. It is a very unflattering angle of the woman's face. The man holding the sign looks almost scary. The man behind to the right looks like he is either asleep on his feet, or bored out of his mind.
What I am saying, is that by the use of these two chosen pictures, the photographer (or editor) appears to be portraying one side in a good light, and the other side in a bad one. Am I crazy? I think that in 6+ hours, you should be able to take at least one flattering picture of people from both sides.
Thanks for the replies already,
Soup
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:10 PM   #7
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I'm sure they have the photos you are expecting to see from both sides and a different press group would likely use the opposite.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:13 PM   #8
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There is always bias in reporting. As for the photos...depending on your leaning on the subject...if you are against the topic, 'see they are not real serious, they just want to have fun, sex, and teach our children how to have sex'! or from the other side, 'see, their minds are closed, they won't listen all they want is to have it their way...see how they stand, how their faces say it all....'
Now, it depends on ALL the photos the editor had to choose from and which he/she picked to place on the page...that would show the true bias if any. Artistically? Different photographers. To the point, yes.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:19 PM   #9
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also, in the end they are in the business of selling papers, and sex sells.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 4:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
First - let me say this - there is ALWAYS bias in any media outlet. Always has been, always will be. The concept of 'neutrally reporting the news' doesn't exist. Bias isn't always left vs. right either - it could be a bias towards sensationalism too.

Now, having looked at the two photos I will say the two photos convey a very different message about the supporters of the two sides. Not having been there I can't say if there were protesters outside for both sides and people waiting to talk inside for both sides. I cannot say whether there was a conscious choice to show the different sides like this or if it's a perceived slight and the reality is not much thought was given to selected images. But without doubt, bias exists on the part of photographers and editors alike. They're people. I'll even add that bias isn't always manifested consciously either.
Agreed and pretty says what I was thinking.
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