Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Move your mouse over the picture below.

    Given the what you can see of the picture above ...

    • What do you think these boys are doing?
    • Do you think your concept of what is going on in this picture would change if you could see all of it? If so, why? If not, why?
    • How can you relate this exercise to the idea of Bias in general? Do you see any to the forms of Bias discussed in detail within this site?

    Click here to see full picture.























The picture above is of Cambodian land mine victims (the above photograph was taken by Les Stone). During times of war and violence, the Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian communists group, and other fighting groups in Cambodia laid land mines throughout the countryside. As a result of these land mines, Cambodia now has an extremely high number of disabled civilians.

This activity reveals several aspects of potential Bias. Omission as form of Bias is clearly represented through this Image activity. When only portions of a picture are revealed it is difficult to understand the full story behind the picture. This is true for news stories as well. What we see and what we don't see help shape how opinions on the news we recieve.

Another key aspect of Bias that can be seen from this activity is specifically related to Image Bias. Our view of an image is greatly affected when this image is shown either out of context or from only specific angle. One glaring example of this is when during the 2003 Columbia Shuttle Explosion some news sources chose to show pictures of a previous Shuttle Explosion because no pictures were available from the Columbia Explosion. This decision may affect how we view the Explosion because it emphasizes NASA's past mistakes and gives a potentially false impression of the 2003 Shuttle Explosion.

It's often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In seconds, pictures and other images have the power to say more than an entire written or spoken news story. For this reason, it is important to note what images are selected by various news sources and how these selections may potentially reveal Bias.

Back to Image Bias Activities