Sarah Charlesworth Movie-Television-News-History, June 21, 1979 1979

  • Not on view

Sarah Charlesworth investigated the ways in which images circulate through news channels and how our understanding of those images is shaped by that context. Her re-presentation of an event covered by newspapers nationwide reveals the ways in which editors cast a story—emphasizing or de-emphasizing a subject based on priorities and competing stories.

To make this work, Sarah Charlesworth collected and photographed the front pages of twenty-seven newspapers, all published on the same day. Each newspaper ran the story of Bill Stewart, an ABC News correspondent killed on camera while covering the Nicaraguan Revolution, accompanied by one or more photographic stills of this televised scene.

By removing content from the newspaper pages so that only the images, captions, and headings remain, Charlesworth draws attention to the treatment of the event. Some papers acknowledge and emphasize that the image was taken from a television broadcast, while others present the event as a series of still images. The placement on the page—above or below the fold—also gives a sense of the story’s newsworthiness as perceived by each paper’s editors.

Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs online course, Coursera, 2016
Twenty-seven chromogenic color prints, printed 2010
Each: 24 × 15 1/2 × 1 1/4" (61 × 39.4 × 3.2 cm)
The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art and Committee on Photography Fund
Object number
© 2024 Sarah Charlesworth

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