Moises Saman’s photo from Tripoli appeared in today’s International section of the New York Times above the headline “Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions About Shape of New Libya.”
The photo itself is excellent, and the gunman’s gaze engages readers instantly instantly. But the tired rhetoric once again shows its head. We aren’t told who this gunmen is—I suspect Saman has at least a vague idea of who this guy may be—but the answer probably isn’t as exciting as we’d like to think. A security officer, prehaps?
To some readers, this page (headline + photo) reinforces the narrative that Muslims in far-away countries sit, pray and rally against the United States as a primary vocation. When will photo editors and photographers work to consciously kill this misconception?