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3 May 2011

Picture of the day

How the Times got it right this morning.

By Jon Bernstein

To whoever made the call to use this photo on the front of today’s Times: take a bow.

It shows Barack Obama and his inner circle (including VP Joe Biden, the defence secretary, Robert Gates, and – hand on mouth – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) as they watch the raid on Osama Bin Laden play out.

Released by the White House late last night and undoubtedly intended to reinforce the narrative of a commander-in-chief in complete control of events, the picture won’t be to all tastes or political persuasions.

But it fits the Times’s take on the story and delivers where the rest of Fleet Street did not. Namely, it provides a dramatic insider’s view of events and, crucially for a daily newspaper competing against the near-real-time news cycle of the web, it helps move the story on – a story that is more than 24 hours old.

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This image nods to the “story of the story” rather than simply the news you woke up to yesterday morning.

The Times front page in later editons, 3 May 2011

 

Earlier editions of the Times followed the pack (as you can see in the montage below) by featuring an image of Bin Laden from the archive. Somebody at News International clearly thought it didn’t do enough.