Seeing the full picture?

Window smashed during 2010 student protests in London. Image "courtesy" of BBC.
Window smashed during 2010 student protests in London. Image "courtesy" of BBC.

I can't help seeing this image like this — a lone protestor doing something crazy and anarchistic surrounded by a semicircle of a hundred professional cameras — and wondering if this is anything like good journalism.  Sure, this event happened. But it sure looks like a stunt for the cameras, rather than an organic protest event.  Would this have happened were the cameras not there to see it?

In searching for a copy of this picture, I noticed that most occurrences online crop out the right-hand half of the image...

It reminds me of a similar video captured as part of the recent G20 protests in London.  I'll hunt for a copy...

Edit: you can see it here at around 4:14


  1. In a way it doesn't matter how it is represented I think you can assume that someone was going to have a go at the Tory Central Office. And also just because cameras were there didn't mean that that person HAD to do it. Unless theres good video of someone from Sky News paying someone to start kicking in windows and starting fires (and really I wouldn't be surprised at that!).Good that the BBC is showing a better picture, but then the media watching the media is something that seems to be getting shown more by the BBC in recent years. At big events you rarely saw the other camera crews around them but now theres so many you can truely see the media scrum.

  2. A buddy of mine, Sam Playle, pointed out that there is actually more than one photo aorund, though they look very similar (you can tell by the exact stance of the kicker). The "cropped" versions I talked about are largely the other picture, and so weren't necessarily cropped.


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