Some of the reporting prior to George Bush’s meeting with Opposition leader Kevin Rudd this week at APEC was about the tussle over whether a TV crew would document the event rather than just a stills photographer. It’s unclear where exactly the decision lay: White House protocol? Government handling? It turned out that only still images were taken in the end, and again, it’s unclear whether this was by design or late notice in getting a TV camera in. Of course diplomatic meetings are going to be managed and calibrated precisely, but it’s interesting that the hierarchies of coverage play out in this way, as slights to one side or the other. We can imagine any TV coverage: the two men meeting and smiling, with any chat of substance behind closed doors anyway. The video footage would tell us nothing much more than the still photos, but it’s clear that it means something different.