A French news agency has yanked a photograph surrounding the New Orleans
hurricane that raised questions of racism, RAW
STORY has learned.
The photograph by Agence France Presse shows two white hurricane survivors
carrying food as they wade through flood waters. The caption reads, "Two
residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a
local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans,
The second, by the Associated Press, shows a black man, who also carries
food. The caption reads, "A young man walks through chest deep flood water
after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30 2005. Flood
waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive
Critics, including Salon.com, focused on the words "finding"
In a statement, Yahoo News says AFP asked them to pull the photos, and they
have complied: "Since the controversy began, the supplier of one of the
photos – AFP – has asked all its clients to remove the photo from
their databases. Yahoo! News has complied with the AFP request."
Some, defending the captions, note that the photographs are from two separate
agencies, and say that they are not necessarily racist in nature.
YAHOO NEWS STATEMENT:
To Yahoo! News readers:
News photos are an especially popular section of Yahoo! News. In part, this
is because we present thousands of news photos from some of the leading news
services, including The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France Press.
To make this volume of photos available in a timely manner, we present the photos
and their captions as written, edited and distributed by the news services with
no additional editing at Yahoo! News.
In recent days, a number of readers of Yahoo! News have commented on differences
in the language in two Hurricane Katrina-related photo captions (from two news
services). Since the controversy began, the supplier of one of the photos –
AFP – has asked all its clients to remove the photo from their databases.
Yahoo! News has complied with the AFP request.
Yahoo! News regrets that these photos and captions, viewed together, may have
suggested a racial bias on our part. We remain committed to bringing our readers
the full collection of photos as transmitted by our wire service partners.
Neil Budde General Manager Yahoo! News