Here’s the front cover of the Daily Mirror. A haunting image of a starving British child, crying their eyes out.
Only… the child is from the Bay Area, and the photo was purchased from Flickr via Getty Images…
Here’s the source of the original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenrosenbaum/4084544644/ (Here’s a happier one taken the following day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenrosenbaum/4086511962/. Apparently she was crying over an earthworm.)
An excellent photo, taken by the excellent Lauren Rosenbaum in November 2009, shared on a US website (Flickr), sold by an American photo agency (Getty Images), used to illustrate poverty in Britain.
- Does it matter that the photo is not really a starving child?
- Does it matter that the photo wasn’t even taken in the UK?
- Is there an ethical issue in buying a stock photo of a child – not in poverty – and using it to illustrate poverty?
- Does it matter that the headline begins “Britain, 2014”, but the photo is actually “USA, 2009”?
I’m not sure on the answers to any of the above, but interesting to think about.
What do you think?