Time magazine’s recent cover contained a photo montage of a young Honduran girl crying while looking up at Pres. Donald Trump, with a real background. The magazine’s cover was clearly an illustration since the girl was not in real life looking at Trump.
The impression was that the girl was separated from her parents while trying to enter the U.S. However, it turned out that the girl wasn’t separated from her parents. Her father told the New York Times that his daughter wasn’t separated from her mother. The photo of the girl was taken by Getty Images’ John Moore in mid-June.
Getty Images’ Director & Head of External Communications Anne Flanagan told iMediaEthics by e-mail that the photo’s caption, as published by Getty Images, has always stated:
MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12: A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is executing the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for political asylum status.. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Further, Getty Images noted that its photographer, Moore, has “always said outright that the mother and child had departed the checkpoint together,” and pointed to a statement from Moore in which he said that the correction on Time’s article “was made at my request minutes after the story went live. The story was amended quickly by TIME.”
The Honduran girl and her mother I photographed as they were taken into custody by the US Border Patrol on June 12 are together, according to US immigration officials. That night they were taken away with other asylum seekers to a Customs and Border Protection processing center, although I did not know their fate. They are now being held at a detention center in Dilley, Texas, according to ICE, and may remain there as their asylum case works its way through court proceedings. Detentions of asylum-seeking families are part of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy at the border. #gettyimages #gettyimagesnews #immigration
Time published a correction on its article about the photo, which states:
Correction (Posted June 19): The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she was taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.
iMediaEthics has written to Time to ask if it published any other corrections. We’ve also written to Getty Images to ask what its original caption stated.
The Washington Post updated its article June 22 to reflect that the girl wasn’t separated from her mother.
“UPDATE (June 22): The father of the little girl told The Washington Post that the child and mother were not separated. U.S. and Honduran officials have confirmed the father’s account to other news organizations.”
Time magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal stood by the image, telling CNN, “The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason. Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”