Open Letter to the Associated Press

According to reports, the Associated Press is deleting photos of Charlie Hebdo magazine, this on the day when gunmen killed 12 people for making people laugh and think. According to AP spokesman Paul Colford, “It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.”

All images are provocative. That’s the point. A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures make us feel and think. They PROVOKE us to contemplate the image and its context, to discuss, to debate, to think critically. People use images to get people to act. To PROVOKE them to action. Even AP images.

AP, my question to you is: Are the following images “deliberately provocative”?

by Edward T. Adams for the Associated Press

by Edward T. Adams for the Associated Press

Vietnam-Terror of War

by Huynh Cong Ut for the Associated Press


by Alan Diaz for the Associated Press

Human Torch

by Greg Marinovich for the Associated Press

Burst of Joy

by Slava Veder for the Associated Press

These images, all by Associated Press photographers, provoke a number of different emotions. Some good. Some bad. Some people might be embarrassed or offended. Good. I hope people keep provoking us with their images.

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