THE WHITE HOUSE
OCTOBER 20TH, 2013
PHOTO BY WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER PETE SOUZA

REPRESENTATION: 
President and First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Malia meet with Pakistani peace activist Malala Yousafzai to congratulate her on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. 

REALITY: 
The Obama administration is the most restrictive of photojournalists in recent decades, routinely preventing the photographers from covering important events such as Malala Yousafzai’s visit. This photo was taken by the White House photographer—the only one allowed access—and distributed by the White House to media around the world. Ms. Yousafzai apparently told President Obama that US drones strikes are counterproductive, kill innocent civilians and fuel terrorism, though this is difficult to verify as there were no independent journalists or photographers present at the meeting. The White House closely controls President Obama’s image by releasing positive images through social media and bypassing the press corps.

On November 21, 2013, a letter addressing the issue of restricted access, signed by more than 30 news agencies, was sent to the White House. The letter listed recent events the press had been barred from, including the meeting with Malala Yousafzai.

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Image copyright Pete Souza