Monday, August 7, 2006

Egg On Their Faces

The power of the blogosphere has been demonstrated once again as the Reuters News Agency was caught using several photoshopped photographs in some of their news stories on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

In a story that first came to light on Saturday, Little Green Footballs posted a picture off the Reuters wire that seemed to be an obviously doctored photo showing smoke plumes rising above Beirut. That post set the bloggers at several different blogs into motion trying to determine whether it had been doctored including enlisting professional photographers who came to the conclusion that it had in fact been doctored.

Doctored Phot

The photograph taken by a freelance Lebanese photographer Adnan Hajj, was eventually pulled by Reuters but the bloggers, smelling blood, started looking into other pictures taken by Hajj and discovered another of his photographs that looked to be doctored.

Jet Trails

This revelation eventually led to the announcement today by Reuters that they have pulled all 920 photos they had in their library that were attributed to Hajj.
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."

Putting politics and partisanship aside, the blogosphere does have it’s moments and this is a perfect case in point.

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