Images shape our perceptions. The manufacture of consent has rarely been more engineered. With everything from wars to presidential campaigns being stage managed and with mainstream news increasingly fed by official sources, reliance on usual sources of news images has become increasingly dangerous.

Majority world countries suffer particularly from stereotypical representations, and while the media worldwide is increasingly being dominated by a few players, it becomes particularly important for news sources to be diverse and varied. With Getty and Corbis controlling the stock market, and Reuters, AP, AFP and EPA dominating the wires, communities in the west are looking for new ways to challenge established media, especially through citizen journalism. The majority world has traditionally been represented by white, middle class, western photographers. But having local photographers is not in itself sufficient. While editorial control remains in the North, stories will continue to have a northern slant, and the only way in which this can be challenged is through alternative sources being formed that are independent of western and corporate media.

DrikNEWS is designed to fill this void. This agency, an independent body of Drik Picture Library, aims to cover news photography and investigative reporting by disseminating both locally and internationally through the web.

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