Skip to comments.Reuters withdraws all photos by Lebanese freelance
Posted on 08/07/2006 7:48:55 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Reuters withdrew all 920 photographs by a freelance Lebanese photographer from its database on Monday after an urgent review of his work showed he had altered two images from the conflict between Israel and the armed group Hizbollah.
Global Picture Editor Tom Szlukovenyi called the measure precautionary but said the fact that two of the images by photographer Adnan Hajj had been manipulated undermined trust in his entire body of work.
"There is no graver breach of Reuters standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image," Szlukovenyi said in a statement.
"Reuters has zero tolerance for any doctoring of pictures and constantly reminds its photographers, both staff and freelance, of this strict and unalterable policy."
The news and information agency announced the decision in an advisory note to its photo service subscribers. The note also said Reuters had tightened editing procedures for photographs from the conflict and apologised for the case.
Removing the images from the Reuters database excludes them from future sale.
Reuters ended its relationship with Hajj on Sunday after it found that a photograph he had taken of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on suburban Beirut had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more and darker smoke rising from buildings.
An immediate enquiry began into Hajj's other work.
It established on Monday that a photograph of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon and dated Aug 2, had also been doctored to increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three.
"Manipulating photographs in this way is entirely unacceptable and contrary to all the principles consistently held by Reuters throughout its long and distinguished history. It undermines not only our reputation but also the good name of all our photographers," Szlukovenyi said.
"This doesn't mean that every one of his 920 photographs in our database was altered. We know that not to be the case from the majority of images we have looked at so far but we need to act swiftly and in a precautionary manner."
The two altered photographs were among 43 that Hajj filed directly to the Reuters Global Pictures Desk since the start of the conflict on July 12 rather than through an editor in Beirut, as was the case with the great majority of his images.
Filing drills have been tightened in Lebanon and only senior staff will now edit pictures from the Middle East on the Global Pictures Desk, with the final check undertaken by the Editor-in-Charge, Reuters said.
Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff contributing photographer from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005. Most of his work was in sports photography, much of it outside Lebanon.
Hajj was not in Beirut on Monday and was not responding to calls. He told Reuters on Sunday that the image of the Israeli air strike on Beirut had dust marks which he had wanted to remove.
Questions about the accuracy of the photograph arose after it appeared on news Web sites on Saturday.
Several blogs, including a number which accuse the media of distorted coverage of the Middle East conflict, said the photograph had been doctored.
Do you believe the media is capable of committing an act worthy of the death penalty?
and check for names such as Hajj, Jihadi, Dirka Dirka, Frankie Fallujah, etc., which might be a tip off as to bias.
Crosscheck to see if they submit to Al Jazeera.
They got caught at their game -- it's a hard, cruel world.
Reuters = Lying lies and the liars who tell them.
As in, a staged photograph of a burning Koran by the same photoshopgrapher?
"Well! I guess a foreign Muslim photographer just got lucky again to find the inciting, dramatic picture of a burning Koran after an Israeli air strike, huh? It's the perfect visual metaphor for the Islamist cause -- the Jews destroying the Koran itself -- and I just suppose he happened to luck upon a bomb site where one was conveniently still aflame. I would imagine a book would either stop burning, or be completely burned (and hence not burning) 99% of the time you visited a scene two hours after an attack, but this phographer just got lucky once again, right?
That photographer's name, by the way? Adnan Hajj of Reuters."
"It maybe as simple as adjusting the light but it's only done to sensationalize the scene and not to show the true scene."
Obviously I don't know how many have been seriously altered, but every photographer in the world manipulates light, focus, composition etc either while taking the picture or after. That's what makes a good photographer. Anybody can point and shoot.
think in this case the Israeli's need to take out the reporters/photographers in order to win this war.
I think that can reasonably be interpreted to mean you believe that Israel should kill reporters and photographers. Perhaps you would like to clarify what you posted.
Let's recall how the MSM buried the news of Stalin starving millions of his own people to death during forced collectivization, esp. in the Ukraine.
News photographs, however, should not be altered in a manner that changes the story in the least bit. It's one thing to get the best lighting. It's another to add elements to the picture that were never there.
Tightened editing procedures: "Y'all do a better job of making the pictures look real!"
If, among the offenses eligible for the death penalty, there are some media is capable of committing, then you'd have to say they could do it, else there'd be no need for the law. Sedition, treason... the NYT is in the docket. Will Bush pull the trigger? Nah.
I'm guessing this includes the Qana/Green Helemt Guy shots as well?
I'm guessing this includes the Qana/Green Helmet Guy shots as well?
"News photographs, however, should not be altered in a manner that changes the story in the least bit. It's one thing to get the best lighting. It's another to add elements to the picture that were never there."
I absolutely agree. That's serious altering and is totally unprofessional. What the Reuters guy did was completely unacceptable.
My point was that you can't be a good, professional photographer without introducing some of your own bias, even if it's just the way you like to compose a shot. To criticize photogs for doing that is to say they should just aim, shoot, and publish any piece of crap they capture. I can do that.
Treason is the charge (not my allegation in this instance, but in the criteria for death penalty).
Do you support such punishment in some instances?
Can the written, published, or broadcast word warrant such punishment?
It has been done in the past (Lord Haw Haw) but some have lived (Axis Sally) and there was no will to prosecute celebrity (Jane Fonda).
LOL but not hopeful that the underwater photos will surface. It depends on whether the Freepers and our PajamaBuddies can locate them. Hope they do.
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