At 12:25 p.m. on February 11, the biggest breaking news worldwide was of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. In that moment, not only was the news consistent within the national and local newspapers’ websites, but also the accompanying photograph.

Photographer Suhaib Salem’s Reuters picture of a crowd of enthralled men in Egypt was canvassed—to give specific examples—on the websites of the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and even local newsie the Toronto Sun.

It’s a good photo. The facial expression—most notably the eyes—of the man featured in the centre is impossible to ignore. It’s not Mr. Suhaib’s photo that needs review here: it’s the undeniable ubiquity of wire services in our news coverage.

Hopefully one day our national newspapers (the local ones are off the hook here) will be able to prioritize and afford to send their own photographers/reporters to the breaking news scenes around the world without giving into the short-term fix of wire services. Then it will be easier to see which paper is presenting the news, and not which wire service.

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