One of the things I think is great about photographs is their independence. Photographs are inherently neither Republican nor Democrat. They capture an image as it occurs and then freeze it forever.

This is not to say that photos never deceive. On the contrary, photos can be manipulated to show whatever the photographer wants. State agencies, prominent newspapers, and magazines have all shown photos that misrepresented reality.

Thus, there is still some responsibility placed on the photographer to represent the entire scene as it played out.

There’s a build up to this. I’m pretty sure you saw it coming. So here it is. On Wednesday, Al Jazeera English, the English division of Al Jazeera (yes, that Al Jazeera) was in town for the Democratic National Convention.

For those not familiar with Al Jazeera, they are more or less the CNN of the Arabic-speaking world, reaching 120 million viewers in 80 countries1.

And when I say town, I actually mean my town: Golden, Colorado.


When Al-Jazeera comes to Colorado to cover the Democratic National Convention this month, it will use Golden as the backdrop to show the Arab world what life is like in a typical U.S. town.

Al-Jazeera’s Washington bureau will broadcast from both Denver and Golden, reporting on issues that will include the economy, the environment, health care and the Iraq war.

The backdrop for its Aug. 27 broadcast from Golden will be the Buffalo Rose, an iconic bar in the heart of downtown, where the college-educated townies and tattooed Harley riders blow off steam after work.

It was pure luck that I happened to find out that Al Jazeera English was in town. I was driving back from an afternoon of climbing and my climbing cohort mentioned that they were in town. Only practical thing to do was grab my camera and go into reporting mode (by the way, I now shoot for The Oredigger).

And so it was: several other photogs and myself, a rather large group of protesters (for Golden at least), the Golden City Police, and Al Jazeera English.






See the rest: Al Jazeera English at the Buffalo Rose

Read the article one of my photos went with: Locals clash with international reporters


Your Prerogative

If you follow politics at all, you know that the DNC was just here in Denver. I managed to avoid most of the hoopla, expect when the English division of Al Jazeera decided to come to Golden. I’m really not quite sure what to say about this:


The city manager of Golden, Colo., [Mike Bestor] has decided to withdraw his invitation to let the Al-Jazeera news network broadcast from a barbecue in his backyard on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
Bestor made his decision after a City Council meeting Thursday at which residents complained the event with the English-language service of the Middle East news network would be disrespectful to veterans and active U.S. soldiers.

While Bestor is well within his rights to rescind his offer to Al Jazeera English, I think it was incredibly foolish to do so. Especially while hiding behind the asinine idea that it would be disrespectful to veterans and current U.S. soldiers. Government officials, which Bestor is, should hold themselves to a higher standard and should lead by example, not by pressure.