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Monday, December 20 2004

WPPH miscaptions

The World Press Photo (WPPH) awards are among the most prestigious international prizes for photojournalism. This year's WPPH Second Prize for 'News Stories' was granted to German Kai Wiedenhöfer (at right) for a series of 12 photographs entitled 'The Wall, Israel Occupied Territories'. The sole caption for the photo essay on the WPPH site:

In 2002 Israel began to construct a 700-kilometer-long security barrier in the West Bank saying that it was designed to stop suicide bombers. Palestinians complained that the barrier was illegal and that its route cut off hundreds of farmers and traders from their land and means of economic survival. [link]

Wiedenhöfer's entry rode this year's wave of international criticism of the West Bank security fence. Yet three of Wiedenhöfer's winning photos labeled as the 'West Bank barrier' are not, in fact, anywhere near the West Bank. These three shots were taken on the southern Gaza border with Egypt:

 

The corrugated metal fence in the top two photos identifies it as Rafah, and the bottom photo is alongside Gaza's Philadelphi corridor (where Palestinian arms smuggling has been rampant ― hence the destruction). Wiedenhöfer himself acknowledges the location of the top photo on his personal web page.

World Press Photo says its mission is '[t]o encourage high professional standards in photojournalism.' Wiedenhöfer's photo essay in its current state on the WPPH web site is inaccurately captioned, undermining that very goal.

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to write to World Press Photo, requesting an explanation for miscaptioning of these photos.

Comments to: office@worldpressphoto.nl

It should further be noted that one of Wiedenhöfer's photos that does portray the West Bank barrier is the site where, on June 17, 2003, Palestinian terrorists used drainage pipes to access the Israeli side, where they opened fire on the family car of 7-year old Noam Leibowitz (at right), killing her instantly:

 

No indication whatsoever of this fact appears alongside the photo of the barrier and the (now) highly-secured drainage pipes.

 

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Comments

It is not only an issue of "mis-caption", this so called "news–story" is misrepresenting the reality .

In his effort to create drama about "The wall Israel is building inside the west-bank" the photographer choose to show demolished houses in an area that has nothing to do with the west-bank barrier.

This should cause him to loose this award. (other wise WPPH will no longer be the "highest standard of Photojurnalism")

So if these photos are not any where near the West-Bank why this story is labled "The wall Israel is building in the west-bank" ?

It seems that World Press Photo should take these photos out.

How convienant that today Germans (not to mention other Europeans) are "documenting" and lecturing Israel on its suppossed "human rights abuses."

They certainly have a funny way of doing this, as this particular German "photograhpher" demonstrated

Ehh...
What difference does it make where the pictures were taken as long as it shows the world what it wants to see; the Jews as heartless oppressors

It makes the difference - if the picture was taking by Arabs - understandable.

By Europeans...no less Germans (who are trying to reconcile with the Jews over their crimes in the Holocaust) who want to portray Jews as oppressers?

WPP is a Dutch organization.

While a German photogrpher can take any photo anywhere he wants - why did WPP allow to use photos from Israel-Egypt border in Rafah as part of a story about "The wall in the west bank" ?

This is more than just "mis-caption". This is a deliberate attempt at deception of the public.

yes WPP is Dutch but the photographer who won the award and took credit for misleading people is German.

Is there any reply form WPP ?

They should remove the misleading photos from their web site .

WPP can not continue to show photos taken in Rafah as if they where taken as part of what they call "The west-bank wall"

Has anyone contacted them ?

If they were honest organization they would take away the awared and issue an apology - This exhibition (with the misleading photos) has been all over the world and it is for the next few days at least on display in Tel-Aviv.....

That the death of a little girl was left out but the "struggle" of getting close enough to Jews to kill them was more difficult make this act immoral.

How can you say the Jews are heartless oppressors? That is an extremely generalized and prejudice comment. Did you know that members of the Union for Reform Judaism have donated over $1,000,000.00 to help Hurricane Katrina victims! Good-hearted people just giving money to help those less fortunate.
Did you know Israel takes in Palestinian cancer patients into their hospitals, and contributes more to science and medicine than any other country in the world per capita!
Stop spreading hate!!!!!!

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