“Les Journalistes“ | 2018.12.15
Dramatic unrest in civilization’s most refined capital makes for a great story, and so the eyes of the world have been squarely fixed on the Gilets Jaunes' Parisian protests for the past month.
Political pundits love projecting self-serving interpretations while photographers vie for sensationalist images and headlines grab attention with repetitive “PARIS IS BURNING!” banners; the coverage so saturated sometimes the streets seem filled with as many press passes as yellow vests.
Someone has to watch the watchers, so here are a few of the stories behind their stories.
1) “Lone Lens” | After a particularly heavy bombardment of gas, all sensible citizens withdrew from the battlefield, leaving the Champs Elysees empty but for one daring photo-journalist, and a silly street photographer behind her.
2) “Forced Perspective” | Many followers have expressed dismay at Paris’ exaggerated demise – incredulity fueled by photos of wanton destruction in the streets...exactly what the media spews for clicks. There is certainly unrest and damage in some corners of town, but tight shots of the worst scenes paint a distorted view. This moment is typical: a bonfire barely big enough for marshmallows is swarmed by photogs who will splash the image around the world with raging flames in the foreground as though the avenue was a conflagration.
3) “Making News” | Far from the unrest, this reporter chooses a shoot amongst friendly marchers happy for some screen time.
4) “Fake News” | Things got testier for this Israeli journalist who was angrily confronted for misrepresenting the movement by an activist looking for a fight.
5) “Tough Assignment” | He’ll professionally present his report once the camera is on, but between live shots it can be tough without a gas mask.
6) “Ready, Aim, Fire” | Many photogs eschewed the real action, opting to remain behind a heavily armored blue line to document a gendarme perspective. At some points perhaps the cameramen even started pointing and shooting in sync.
Note this series was shot on December 8.
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