Staging the News

by Steve on August 6, 2006

Reuters withdraws photograph of Beirut after Air Force attack after US blogs, photographers point out ‘blatant evidence of manipulation.’ Reuters’ head of PR says in response, ‘Reuters has suspended photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to photograph.’ Photographer who sent altered image is same Reuters photographer behind many of images from Qana, which have also been subject of suspicions for being staged

We’ve heard claims of such behavior for weeks, now we have proof. The really strange aspect of this occurrence is that the original image of a smoking Beirut following an air strike was dramatic without the photographer’s amateurish attempt via Photoshop software to make it more so. Being a digital photographer myself, with a far too intimate knowledge of Photoshop tools, I was amazed to see the blatantly obvious manipulation of the image that was originally published. Any editor worth his or her pay should have caught it immediately, even on a bad day. If you follow the above link to the Reuters story you will see both versions of the image, the doctored one shows a ripple pattern in the upper sections of the smoke, a result of cloning and pasting without blending. As I said, the stupidity in the act of deception is that it was totally unnecessary, the unaltered image could have easily had the desired shock value without the effect of casting doubt on the ethics of an entire news organization.

And this comes from the same freelancer who supplied many of the images out of Qana. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

More at Cox & Forkum

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