Skip to comments.AP Severs Ties With Photographer Who Altered Work
Posted on 01/22/2014 6:15:47 PM PST by kristinn
NEW YORK (AP) The Associated Press has severed ties with a freelance photographer who it says violated its ethical standards by altering a photo he took while covering the war in Syria in 2013.
The news service said Wednesday that Narciso Contreras recently told its editors that he manipulated a digital picture of a Syrian rebel fighter taken last September, using software to remove a colleague's video camera from the lower left corner of the frame. That led AP to review all of the nearly 500 photos Contreras has filed since he began working for the news service in 2012. No other instances of alteration were uncovered, said Santiago Lyon, the news service's vice president and director of photography.
Contreras was one of a team of photographers working for the AP who shared in a Pulitzer last year for images of the Syrian war. None of the images in that package were found to be compromised, according to the AP.
AP said it has severed its relationship with Contreras and will remove all of his images from its publicly available photo archive. The alteration breached AP's requirements for truth and accuracy even though it involved a corner of the image with little news importance, Lyon said.
(Excerpt) Read more at ap.org ...
The AP has ethical standards—Who knew?
Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see what the big deal is. It is not like he fundamentally changed what the picture showed, he just cleaned it up. It seems to me there have been bigger sins by news photogs.
This AP gets worked up about.
The killing of an ambassador and three other Americans that were blamed on a film no one ever saw...
Isn’t that required for photogs covering the ME? Like 2006 Green Helmet guy
If only the were this consciousness about the accuracy of what they report and what they choose to omit from reporting.
Wasn’t the AP the who covered the Palestinians when they haad those fake ambulances running around picking up fake wounded victims like 10 years ago?...
The AP’s been showing some nice ethical stirrings recently... it’s starting to feel real.
I agree; it’s not as if what he did changed the meaning of the photo, or that he was pursuing some kind of agenda. It was like airbrushing out a candy wrapper or something.
You’re spot on. That’s the pretense of ethics we see there, to give them cover when they lie in areas that really matter. It’s like the ACLU every once in a while supporting a conservative cause.
This could have been handled with a simple correction at the bottom of their website and a slap on the wrist. Nobody would have cared one iota about it.
I find it hard to believe that AP doesn’t crop photos, adjust the contrast, or use some other similar method to improve the presentation of their images. Unless the standard is for photographers to submit raw images and let the editors make the changes, thus insuring the accuracy of the initial source, this does seem like no big deal.
Photojournalists are really, really anal about this stuff. It is very nice to work in that environment. It’s usually the editors that do this crap.
Not quite....the proper caption is “Did global warming lead pitbulls to attack an unaborted fetus?”
Cloning out something from the image is a big deal. The rule is that you can crop, adjust color and contrast, but you never add or subtract anything using digital manipulation. Basically, the idea is to do only those things you could do in a conventional film darkroom.
The problem for AP is that they often rely on local photographers who have different ethical standards. Most reputable American photojournalists won’t alter photos, their bias usually shows up in the images they submit and the ones they don’t.
Some agencies can require the photographer to submit the actual images as they came out of the camera. Two that I can think of off hand are National Geographic and Sports Illustrated. SI has different requirements depending on the job, but they have been known to send out the actual memory cards, cameras and lenses for a photographer to use. National Geographic requires the photographers to send in the actual memory cards with the images and they are not to delete any images.
Don’t they know the only alterations they can ethically make are those that make Conservatives look bad? Tsk, tsk.
> Narciso Contreras recently told its editors that he manipulated a digital picture of a Syrian rebel fighter taken last September, using software to remove a colleague’s video camera from the lower left corner of the frame.
That’s an interesting change of policy at AP, eh? This alteration gets the “who gives a ####” award. Thanks kristinn.
Why is grandpa and grandma’s heads practically washed out because of lighting, but his isn’t?
There’s just something very odd about that photo...
The Adnan Hajj photographs controversy (also called Reutersgate) involves digitally manipulated photographs taken by Adnan Hajj, a Lebanese freelance photographer based in the Middle East, who had worked for Reuters over a period of more than ten years. Hajj's photographs were presented as part of Reuters' news coverage of the 2006 IsraelLebanon conflict, but Reuters has admitted that at least two were significantly altered before being published.
The second manipulated image was reported by the pseudonymous blogger "Dr. Rusty Shackleford" on his blog "the Jawa Report". Reuters captioned it as showing an Israeli F-16 fighter jet firing ground-attack missiles "during an air strike on Nabatiyeh", but the F-16 was actually deploying one defensive flare, and the original photograph showed only one flare. The photo had been doctored to increase the number of flares falling from the F-16 from one to three, and misidentified them as missiles.