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.
also the staged ones from Qana? hehe
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.
Um, this is an UNACCEPTABLE POLICY. It is designed to bury any evidence of further manipulation, NOT to correct a wrong.
Sorry --- that should be Reuterrorism, I guess.
Good for Reuters! And we thought he'd just get a slap on the wrist. They found only one other so far, but I guess this saves Reuters the time of looking through all 920 to see if there's more.
In that first photograph, the lady looks like she was superimposed.
Shes in the shade, but her clothing shows up way too dark.
The clothing around her right arm (the one raised up in the air) looks like its been traced out from another picture (probably with the magnetic lasso tool in PS).
Speaking of media fakery, does anyone have an online copy of the TIME photo in the magazine's 31 July issue purporting to show a fire caused by "a downed Israeli jet"?
No jet was downed, of course; a fire was caused by a ZelZal-2 ballistic missile struck by the IAF on its truck prior to launch, which went into the air and came down on fire. Hez had a video of it and claimed they had shot down a jet; the video was quickly debunked but TIME is on Hez's side, so they ran the fake photo/bogus caption bit.
("This doesn't mean that every one of his 920 photographs in our database was altered.")
They don't have to. It has been shown that he doesn't have any integrity. Photos can be staged, so they could be "false" even if the photos themselves are not doctored.
for fear than all of them would be found fraudulent.
Once those photos are removed and not saved on independent servers as photos not links, all evidence of past fraud will be gone.
I thought it was two so far. Someone else mentioned there would be more. My guess is that this is correct--he's likely gotten away with quite a lot, but recently got sloppy.
Wonder what the rest of the photogs have been up to...?
"Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic versimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative." That's not how we say it in Montana...we call it bullsh....
BINGO. It is a communist purge to prohibit further investigation of fraud.
This is why I still like newspapers and magazines. They can't all be burned to shredded to "pretend" that these hoaxes didn't get past biased editors.
This is why you send a TRUSTED American (or British) photographer in to shoot FILM of newsworthy events.
Farming it out to locals who have a vested interest (and a digital media which permits easy manipulation) is bad practice.
There is a God.
I notified TIME of their error regarding the "downed Israeli jet" photo caption and this was their reply:
"Thanks for your help in pointing out an error in our reporting. We apologize the for the mistake, and we have corrected our files.
Now we will see if they improve their reporting.
He also photographed the man with the Green Helmet carrying the dead child.
While that photo may not have been altered, there is good suspicion that it was repeatedly staged. An unbiased photographer would reveal the fraud of the situation but a biased one will not disclose the tricks that make it seem real.
Corrected their files. Will they be PUBLISHING a correction/retraction?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.