Stock images

Once again, Miqdaad Versi reports another successful complaint, in getting the BBC to change what he says was a wholly inappropriate image of young Muslim girls learning to read Arabic chosen to illustrate an article about child marriage.

Though to be fair to the BBC, the article in question is about a Unicef report on the falling number of child marriages, which it links to better education for girls.

The caption at the bottom of the original photo does say, “Education for girls has helped reduced the number of child marriages”, while the article itself says, “In India this was achieved by better education for girls and by publicising the harm child marriage causes.”

I wonder if the new image the BBC has chosen to replace the photo of girls studying is any better, given that it actually shows a visually impaired adult couple participating in a mass marriage ceremony, conducted in 2014 in Ahmedabad to help Hindu and Muslim couples in need of financial assistance.

Will this couple now complain that their photo has similarly been misappropriated by a news organisation, to illustrate an article which has nothing to do with them? They might as well.

Perhaps news organisations simply need to stop using stock images to illustrate news articles where none exist. Maybe that would be a better result all round.

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