Photo-editor bias


Washington Post Express, 2008-10-15

I am currently looking at the front page of this free tabloid from the Washington Post for Wednesday, October 15, 2008.
It is dominated by two side-by-side pictures of the two presidential candidates,
John McCain and Barack Obama.
McCain is shown speaking, with a slightly serious but not unpleasant look.
Obama is shown with an a gigantic ear-to-ear grin,
he looks like he just won the lottery.


After reading the following two stories in the print edition of the Washington Post,
"Manassas principal resigns, loses teaching license after allegedly faking résumé" and
"Known for strong leadership, principal felled by résumé",
and noticing that they did not include a photograph of the subject of the stories,
"Longtime educator Robin Anthony Toogood II,
the principal of Jennie Dean Elementary School since 2009",
I wondered why that was.
So often such news stories do show a photo of the main subject.

Could it be, I wondered, that the person who was the subject of the story was black,
and the editors were deliberately not showing his photo
because to do so would "support stereotypes"?
So I did a google search to see if
any of the reports contained an image of Mr. Toogood.
Somewhat to my surprise, it seems
only one news report on this case contains his image,
that from the D.C. Fox news station:
"Manassas principal fired after investigation found he fabricated resume".
Here is his photo from that story:

I rest my case on photo editor bias.

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