Washington Post chooses 'newsy' photo that photographer says doesn't represent Occupy Wall Street protests


Justin Elliott writes that The Washington Post "chose an image of a bearded protester seeming to assault a cop to illustrate a movement that has been overwhelmingly — almost without exception — nonviolent." The image shows an Occupy Wall Street protester with his arm around a police officer's neck. Andrew Burton, the freelance photographer who captured the image, tells Elliott that he doesn't know what sparked the confrontation and that due to the melee he didn't even know he had captured that image until later. The "vast majority of the protests have been incredibly peaceful," Burton says. Elliott concurs, aside from a small element who seem intent on provoking confrontations. Washington Post Managing Editor Liz Spayd tells Elliott that the image was "the most original and the most newsy," and that in general the newspaper's news stories and photographs have portrayed the protests as "animated but generally peaceful."

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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