The following is an excerpt of an article by Views on the Left section editor Peter Tutykhin for the Culture section. This features in our fourth print issue, available from the 15th July.
Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.
Surrounded by US Border Patrol agents, a two-year-old Honduran girl by the name of Yanela Sanchez wails in agony.
Captured by John Moore of Getty Images, this vivid, powerful, image was ultimately made the winner of the 2019 World Press Photo Contest, perhaps the most prestigious award of its kind in photojournalism. It was viewed by millions online and found itself on the cover of Time Magazine.
— TIME (@TIME) June 21, 2018
Here was a stark visualization of the highly controversial family separation policy employed by the Trump administration throughout 2018. Or so we thought.
There was a problem.
The crying toddler was never actually separated from her parents, something confirmed by her father and US Customs and Border Protection after the image had gone viral. Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, used the discrepancy to rail against ‘Fake News’, claiming that the ‘Dems and the media’ were exploiting this little girl to push a political agenda.
Images have power, and that power resides in their ability to communicate a wider story.
Ever since Roger Fenton documented the battlefields of Crimea, they have developed a remarkable ability to shape public opinion and influence government policy. Yet their relationship with the truth has at times been an uneasy one, and Moore’s image of the crying Yanela Sanchez was far from the first time when photojournalistic ethics and authenticity found themselves called into question.
Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.
Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.