So what does Appalachia look like? And what does that teach us?


General Photography

It’s safe to assume Appalachia doesn’t look like what CNN made it to look like (the edit on view here might be different than the original one - c.f. the article linked to below), editing a series of photographs by Stacy Kranitz. This edit caused quite the uproar. Roger May just published an article about it, in which he quotes the photographer’s reaction to the edit: “I feel ashamed and humiliated for trusting CNN. I am stunned that they would take my work out of context.” There also is an interview with the photographer here. This will not make it any better, but this story isn’t new. I’ve heard the exact same thing from photojournalists working with newspapers and magazines. I think there are two things we can learn from this. First, the internet can serve as a corrective when it comes to these kinds of events. Second, this story can also teach us a valuable lesson about stories that come from places outside of the US. It’s very important to keep the mechanisms that created the CNN story in mind when viewing, for example, photography produced in places like Africa.