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One for you Penguin lovers out there..... Robotic Space Penguin to hop across the Moon (NewScientist.com; Wednesday 31st August 2005)

Also from a friends LJ, something he found on Yahoo news regarding the New Orleans flood....

When white people are hungry, they find food:

"Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store"

But when black people are hungry, they loot:

"A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans"


Sep. 1st, 2005 07:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, although as [info]anyeone pointed out AP have now changed tact and made the following point about looting "people of all races and walks of life" are scavenging to find what they can.

Although I'd imagine that this is as much to do with the AP actually noticing, because the whole "looting" vs "finding" thing has been picked up by some sections of the press now. I think their point about all races and walks of life is a somewhat irrelevant nod to political correctness in their reporting of the issue. It's been overly focused upon, to the extent that it's being used as an opportunity to attack the "white biased" media, when really I doubt that the AP had any knowledge of it.
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC)

An article in Salon.com, a fairly lefty place, put a reasonable angle on this all:

"Looting" or "finding"?
Bloggers are outraged over the different captions on photos of blacks
and whites in New Orleans.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Aaron Kinney

Sept. 1, 2005 | Two photographs of New Orleans residents wading
through chest-deep water unleashed a wave of chatter among bloggers
Wednesday about whether black people are being treated unfairly in
media coverage of post-hurricane looting.

One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for the Associated
Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after
"looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. The young man
appears to have a case of Pepsi under one arm and a full garbage bag
in tow. In the other, similar shot, taken by photographer Chris
Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a light-skinned woman
are shown wading through chest-deep water after "finding" goods
including bread and soda, according to the caption, in a local grocery

The images were both published on Tuesday by Yahoo News. "We don't
edit photo captions," Yahoo P.R. manager Brian Nelson told Salon.
"Sometimes we take a look at the photos and we'll choose to pull
photos, but the captions run as is." A search of AP and Getty's image
databases confirms that Yahoo News did not alter either of the photo
captions before posting them online.

Looting has become a serious problem in the aftermath of Katrina, and
conditions in the area continue to be extremely challenging for
everyone, journalists included. Bloggers were quick to raise
allegations of insensitivity and racism regarding the disparity in the
two captions -- but did they pass judgment too quickly? Not only did
the photos come from separate outlets, bloggers had no knowledge of
the circumstances in which the shots were taken, beyond what appeared
in the published captions.

On Wednesday, D.C. Web gossip Wonkette suggested the Associated Press
should apologize, while a blogger at Daily Kos commented alongside the
juxtaposed images, "And don't forget. It's not looting if you're white."

"I am curious how one photographer knew the food was looted by one but
not the other," wrote Boston Globe correspondent Christina Pazzanese,
in a letter posted on media commentator Jim Romenesko's blog. "Were
interviews conducted as they swam by? Should editors, in a rush to
publish poignant or startling images, relax their standards or allow
personal or regional biases creep into captions and stories?"

The AP database includes two other images from the same scene by
photographer Dave Martin that refer to looters in the captions, though
neither actually shows an explicit act of looting. Jack Stokes, AP's
director of media relations, confirmed today that Martin says he
witnessed the people in his images looting a grocery store. "He saw
the person go into the shop and take the goods," Stokes said, "and
that's why he wrote 'looting' in the caption."
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC)

Santiago Lyon, AP's director of photography, told Salon that all
captions are vetted by editors and are the result of a dialogue
between editor and photographer. Lyon said AP's policy is that each
photographer can describe only what he or she actually sees. He added,
"When we see people go into businesses and come out with goods, we
call it 'looting.'" On the other hand, he said, "When we just see them
carrying things down the road, we call it 'carrying items.'"

Regarding the AFP/Getty "finding" photo by Graythen, Getty spokeswoman
Bridget Russel said, "This is obviously a big tragedy down there, so
we're being careful with how we credit these photos." Russel said that
Graythen had discussed the image in question with his editor and that
if Graythen didn't witness the two people in the image in the act of
looting, then he couldn't say they were looting.

But if he didn't witness an act of looting, how did Graythen determine
where the items came from, or if they were "found"? "I wish I could
tell you," Russel said. "I haven't been able to talk to Chris."

"The only thing I can tell you is they don't assume one way or
another," she added.

Yahoo News published another photo Tuesday of a looting scene that
caught bloggers' attention. This one, by AP photographer Bill Feig,
shows a white man walking away from a looted convenience store,
looking in a grocery bag, while a black man jumps out of the store's
broken front window. The caption reads, "As one person looks through
their shopping bag, left, another jumps through a broken window, while leaving a convenience store ... in Metairie, La." According to the caption, Feig shot the image while on a helicopter tour of Louisiana with Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

"I think it's fair to say that he described what he saw ... which is
somebody going through their bag," Stokes said, affirming that Feig
must not have seen the man with the grocery bag actually leaving the
looted store.

Both Stokes and Russel said their photographers would be unable to
comment further on the images for now, because of the chaos and poor
communications conditions prevailing in New Orleans and the
surrounding region.

The stakes remain high in the aftermath of this disaster, says
Pazzanese. "Seems to me the national 'crisis mode' coverage of Katrin in a predominantly black, poor part of the country presents a number of professional challenges for everyone in the media around the subject of racial and economic sensitivity," she wrote on Romenesko. "Perhaps these photos will stimulate a media 'gut check' as we race to tell the stories of the thousands who lost their lives and livelihoods."

Sep. 1st, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
Excellent analysis there. Thanks for that.

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