Propaganda or news: Should media publish government’s child-detention photos?

All of the photographs depicting life inside the facilities have been supplied by the government itself. There’s been no independent documentation; federal officials, citing the children’s privacy, have barred journalists from taking photographs or video when they’ve been permitted inside.

.. “We thought it was a bad precedent to accept government handout photos when [photojournalists aren’t] allowed in,”

.. The few journalists who have gotten access to the facilities have suggested the government’s image-making is distorted, at best.

.. Jacob Soboroff, an MSNBC reporter who visited the McAllen center, said what he saw inside was “shocking,” though Soboroff had no pictures to back up this impression.

.. He described children “locked up in cages essentially, what look like animal kennels.” But even his eyewitness account had limitations. Soboroff noted that officials asked him not to talk to people inside the center, thus keeping their experiences in the dark.

.. formally protested the Obama White House’s restrictions on photojournalists in 2013. The organization said the White House routinely excluded news photographers from important events involving the president, and then issued its own photos taken by an official White House photographer.

“You are, in effect, replacing independent journalism with visual press releases,”