All burglars are ninjas, and hackers wear hoodies – The Rise of the Local Newspaper Stock Photo

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If you look at local newspapers as much as we do, you’ll notice that increasing numbers of stories are illustrated by stock photos.

This is due to a number of things, but mostly because having a staff photographer costs money, and it’s far easier and somewhat cheaper to pull a picture out of the archive.

That does mean that you see the same old photos again and again, especially in crime stories.

For example, all house-breakers are ninja.

Bristol Post: Ninja breaks into a house

And following closely behind is any story about hacking.

All hackers wear hoodies.

They also live in The Matrix.

And if they’re feeling particularly paranoid, they wear both a hoodie and a balaclava, because you never know when The Man is watching.

We’ve seen so many Press Association crime stories that we’d recognise that police tape anywhere.

Every local newspaper journalist has a file image of police tape somewhere on their hard drive. And quite possibly one of a fire engine, or a rear view of a couple of police officers on patrol. And the court building, so they never have to go there.

Basingstoke Gazette: Idiot gets six months for drunken violence

The Reading Evening Post used to have a particularly shoddy picture of a police car and a pair of feet to illustrate any crime story, but that’s now lost to the mists of time. Still, nice generic police car shot…

Now move along, nothing to see here…

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