The question of proportionality in the use of pictures of the Middle Eastern conflict is addressed by Ian Mayes, the Guardian’s readers’ editor today. He quotes from a reply the paper’s deputy editor made to an accusation of disproportion in the use of pictures which was part of a complaint from the Israeli embassy in London. The deputy editor said:
In the past four editions … we have used 11 photographs … two could be categorised as showing Israeli victims and five [were] of Lebanese victims. The remainder could be said to be neutral … That is against a backcloth of 35 civilian deaths in Israel and 1,005 in Lebanon.
Mayes, who is president of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen, concludes: “Numbers, in such a context, do count.”