AGSTAR Photojournalism

Friday, August 11, 2006

I just wanted to add my grain of commentary on the Reuters altered photo flop.

Sadly this profession has had its share of fakers and hucksters and so on. There is always somebody who lacks the ability to make great photographs from only the real events in front of him or lacks the ethical fortitude to not intefere in their news reporting. It has alays been easy to fake news photos. Now days its even easier to do it after the fact, with digital technology.

My real problem with this latest scandal is why did Reuters, a top notch international news gathering service allowed it to happen. Just by looking at the image that finally got this latest photographer caught, it was obvious that the image is doctored, in the most crude way.

The question is, what was the Reuters desk editor thinking when he allowed that photo to go through the wire!!?? The excuse that he was editing hundreds of images that day is not valid since that is what he does anyway as a photo editor, on a daily basis, and isn't he supposed to be a highly qualified professional in order to be allowed to sit on the photo desk. The same can be asked for the whole worldwide Reuters photo desk editorial staff. Why did it take a blogger to spot such an obvious fake? What about us photo editors at our newspapers? Wasn't anybody looking? I have the lame excuse that we do not carry Reuters photo service at our newspaper.

It is my experience that there will always be individuals who will try to push posed or altered photos into your lap and its up to you as photo editor to spot them and stop them. I do not know about others but fakes always ring alarm bells in my head when they show up at our newspaper to try and sell their photo's. We politely but in no uncertain terms let them know that we believe that the image is a fake and that they are not welcomed anymore. It is the least we can do for our readers and for the credibility of our publication.

that's all for now.


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