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Spare a thought for the senior Middle East photographer fired by Reuters

Spare a thought for the senior Middle East photographer fired by Reuters after two tampered photographs from a Beirut stringer got through the system during the Lebanon war. Company officials have trumpeted Reuters “swift, strong response” to this “unfortunate human error” and proclaimed that he was dismissed “for his handling of the case”, saying an internal investigation cleared the company of any intention of misleading the public but it had, even so, tightened procedures. So Reuters emerges clean as a whistle.

But does it? And has the culprit been found?

My former colleague had served with dedication and distinction for 23 years in some of the world’s roughest places, earning citations for professionalism and admiration for his warmth, humour, intelligence and loyalty. I worked with him during the Lebanese civil war. He’s a man of energy and integrity, someone you want beside you in a war. There wasn’t a blemish on his record. But so what? It seems that in Reuters, if it suits the company, it’s one strike, you’re out.

Not everyone is happy about this, as a Reuters manager wrote privately to him this month:

“I’ve been meaning to write for a while to say I think you have been treated very shabbily. I would like to know the name of a journalist working for Reuters for more than 20 years who has not made a major mistake – let alone when someone else has been trying to push a deliberate mistake past them.
“Then of course everyone forgets about the years of hard work – in your case in dangerous places – that have been put in for the company.
“For all the furore journalists create about other journalists’ mistakes, we are not brain surgeons and nobody’s dead or even hurt because of your error.”
But did he commit a sackable offence? Or did others have responsibility for what happened? Was the Reuters photo set-up in Beirut a disaster waiting to happen? Was management responsible in any way?

When he took over in July 2005 he knew the Middle East well and knew that most Reuters photographers were poorly educated stringers with no professional training or news skills. They could use the equipment, but not in a truly professional way.

He immediately asked London to set up training for photographers. Answer: there’s no money.

He asked to bring photographers to Dubai to train them himself. Answer: no money.

That meant that on top of his regional management and photo shooting responsibilities he had the enormous burden of editing pictures from 11 countries. He asked for a photo editor to help. Answer: no money. Finally, a Gaza photographer came in January 2006, but up to July he was away four months.

The lack of investment and consequent lack of means of the Reuters regional photo operation meant he worked long hours, had no holiday for a year and often worked weekends. When he was fired he claimed payment for 55 days due and got it.

But by the time he took a holiday in July 2006 he had straightened out the photo operations in Iraq, Saudi and Egypt. However, bureaus like Lebanon were still a mess.

When he was called from holiday to the Lebanon war he learned that several stringers on the front line in the south did not have Reuters cameras. Two office computers had viruses and were infecting others. No FTP server was available for accessing pictures for editing, so photographers were filing to the private email of the Beirut chief photographer. He didn’t have the password so he couldn’t access pictures directly. Add to that the fact that no one in the Beirut photo operation could write acceptable captions, and that he found someone unqualified and unauthorised in the office accessing the pictures, and the nature of the task he faced in the middle of a war begins to emerge.

AFP had sent in three editors to handle the picture flow and AP had an army of foreign and independent photographers, but he was Reuters sole editor, working with 15 locals and three foreign photographers. He had to edit and file all the locals’ pictures. He asked for help but was told other Reuters photographers were recuperating from the Winter Olympics and Football World Cup and were not available.

Outgunned, beset by equipment problems and technical difficulties, swamped by the flow of pictures – many gory to the extreme — he worked all day and into the nights to select, edit, caption and file. Was it possible to have complete oversight in such conditions? Is it surprising two tampered pictures got through? He accepts responsibility for not spotting them, but could he not have expected backup from the Singapore photo desk? And if he didn’t give the right answer at first when the questions began, was he protecting himself or someone else in the bureau?

Was he really responsible for the mistake or for mishandling the case? It looks more likely that he has been made the scapegoat for a disaster that was always likely to happen given the condition of the Beirut photo operation after years of neglect by Reuters decision-makers.

by John Bap at 2007-02-02 11:50:11 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) paris , Faroe Islands | Bookmark | | Report spam→

02 Feb 2007 00:02
Anyone who have seen how photographers re-arrange scenes to a get a better photo (or have people “dance” before the camera while the background everyone just stand and take a look) knows that this guy was scapegoat for a disaster that was always likely to happen .

This whole focus on PS ignore the real problem:

In some places people know how to manipulate the media – they know how to act and what is expected from them so that the photographer will get a good shot.

Some photographers just walk away in disgust but some (mostly news wires) are all hobbling together to get the similar shot of an event that would not occur unless the photographers were there.

I feel sorry for this guy – the problem is the system not him.

by Eyal Dor Ofer | 02 Feb 2007 15:02 | Israel, Israel | | Report spam→
It takes less training for a cab driver to be a Reuter’s photographer than it does to drive his taxi. Thats pretty sad.

by [former member] | 03 Feb 2007 18:02 | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
On a related note about Reuters and their coverage plans, a story from BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6289521.stm

jack

by Jack Kurtz | 03 Feb 2007 18:02 | Phoenix, AZ, United States | | Report spam→
You get what you pay for.

by Tomas Stargardter | 03 Feb 2007 23:02 | Managua, Nicaragua | | Report spam→
Ugh. I’m gonna go be a teacher or something.

by Bill Putnam | 04 Feb 2007 07:02 | Washington, D.C., United States | | Report spam→
Not!

by Bill Putnam | 04 Feb 2007 07:02 | Washington, D.C., United States | | Report spam→
just really insulted by the lame attempt to make do on an image with photoshop…
reguardless of his past… something like this is really hard to shake…
almost comparable to petafilia…
can you really trust someone after this behaviour?

by Ray Lewis | 04 Feb 2007 18:02 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
a mistake? a scape goat? feel sorry?


where was the mistake? when he deliberately sent a photo that changes reality for political reasons? the excuses don’t fly, it wasn’t a little detail in the photo.

i hope he never gets a job for any news organization anywhere in the world… for our sake! don’t you understand the damage fauxtography like this does to our profession? if a photographer / editor / journalist of an agency can be so partial to politics, he shouldn’t be in the business, because he is killing OUR business.

he’s not a scape goat, he received only a portion of the treatement deserved. he should be sued by public organization and media watchdogs, not to mention by Reuters.

and last… feel sorry? you feel sorry about someone stabbing you in the back?

as i’ve said before… photographers don’t need any agency boss to fuck us over. we do it perfectly well on our own!!!

he tarnished his own “past” with nobody’s help. was it the first time he did something like that? probably not, it was the first time he was caught.

blame the system, sure! and keep blaming it when your profession doesn’t exist anymore because of people like him.


wake up and smell the humous!

by [former member] | 04 Feb 2007 19:02 (ed. Feb 4 2007) | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | | Report spam→
Sounds like guilad should challenge this guy to a pistol duel. 20 paces. Hell, make it 10 paces.either that or he should apply for the open post at rueters and show us all how it’s done. At least its now clear that those enhanced rueters photos prove that the israelis didn’t really bomb the shit of out of lebanon for no good reason. I mean, the damage must not have been that bad. Right…someone should be punished a hell of a lot more than they were, but not the photo editors or the photog. War crimes anyone? Parody of force? Give me a fucking brake.

by [former member] | 04 Feb 2007 20:02 | headin' south (old Mexico), Mexico | | Report spam→
Sounds like guilad should challenge this guy to a pistol duel. 20 paces. Hell, make it 10 paces.either that or he should apply for the open post at rueters and show us all how it’s done. At least its now clear that those enhanced rueters photos prove that the israelis didn’t really bomb the shit of out of lebanon for no good reason. I mean, the damage must not have been that bad. Right…someone should be punished a hell of a lot more than they were, but not the photo editors or the photog. War crimes anyone? Parody of force? Give me a fucking brake.

by [former member] | 04 Feb 2007 20:02 | headin' south (old Mexico), Mexico | | Report spam→
yes Eros, you are right. war crimes are a perfect excuse for faking pictures! why be bothered by the truth if we can divert this conversation to a political debate.

and while we’re at it, let’s make a rule that anytime someone thinks a war is dirty, they can just reinvent it. wouldn’t you like that?

by [former member] | 04 Feb 2007 23:02 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | | Report spam→
…yes Eros, you are right. war crimes are a perfect excuse for faking pictures! why be bothered by the truth if we can divert this conversation to a political debate. and while we’re at it, let’s make a rule that anytime someone thinks a war is dirty, they can just reinvent it. wouldn’t you like that?…

This is why I’m so torn in the industry today. On one side, part of me still wants to be out there telling the story without any outside pressure to take a side, while the other part of me just wants to give up because there is so much pressure to take a side and tell a story the follows the political principles established by my EIC.

Having just now read this thread, it’s almost ironic that I created the following post an hour prior about Reuters. http://www.lightstalkers.org/reuters_use_of_photoshop

by Aaron J. Heiner | 05 Feb 2007 00:02 (ed. Feb 5 2007) | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
I thought the point of this thread was to examine Reuters motives for firing their Middle East Chief Photographer who was manning the desk, not the firing of Adnan Hajj, which was an obvious case of gross misconduct.

As far as the Hajj debacle goes, that photographer obviously wasnt being honest, but condemning him is kinda like condeming someone working minimum wage at McDonalds because the company is destroying the rainforest. It makes us feel all smug and superior, but its pointing the finger at a small cog when the ultimate culprits lie elsewhere.

Now, I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next blog..ahem person, but the thing with conspiracies is they’re only worth considering if the obvious rational explanation appears faulty. In this case the rational explanation has nothing to do with any political bias and so all this stuff about Reuters harbouring Islamist sympathisers is just Hez-bollocks.

The Hajj image was obviously wrong. The point is – WHY and HOW did it make it onto the wire? Via an infrastructure of pro-Islamist sympathisers?

Er, no. Wake up and smell the money. Or lack of it in this case.

The image getting on the wire had more to do with corporate cost cutting than any intent to deceive. Hajj was a lowly paid stringer angling for more play on the wire. If Reuters had paid and trained him properly in the first place, or had a healthy infrastructure for their picture output, instead of what looks like a skeleton staff, then they wouldn’t have taken a beating over this, because it wouldnt have happened in the first place. They’d have had enough staff to spot it, the pic would have been spiked and binned by the desk and Hajj would be disciplined or fired.

But they didnt have the staff because some Reuters beancounter decided it wasnt worth spending the money to get them. So the picture got through a threadbare filter.

Like a lot of large corporations there always seems to be enough money for tier upon tier of well paid managers, but very little accountability when their strategic costing decisions come back to bite the company on the arse. Somebody high up made a choice to downsize and outsource their photo staff by relying on poorly paid and trained stringers and cutting picture desk staff. The consequence of that has dented Reuters reputation and thats worth far more than money, but I’ll bet its also been reflected in their bottom line.

But whatever executive made that huge strategic error is probably not being thrown on the dole.

As usual, the managers have solved the problem by firing a subordinate – the very subordinate who warned them something like the Hajj scandal could happen.

The likes of Adnan Hajj won’t kill us, because unlike people who enjoy bandying about stereotypes of us all as politically biased liars, as a photographer whose worked alongside many photographers, I know that’s complete crap, and a distortion of a profession which is a damn sight more honest and accountable than some of the bloggaganda I read.

If our profession ceases to exist it will indeed be because ‘the system’ – a media now dominated and owned mostly by corporate businesses – will eliminate us, if and when they think they can make profits without us.

And that day, is not far off. An 88% rise in staff layoffs in US newspapers last year (nearly 18,000 jobs) has nothing to do with Photoshop cloning.

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2007 04:02 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I believe man who John writes about was not Haj the photographer, but the editor who failed to catch the Photoshopped image.

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2007 04:02 | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
Sion,

You’re spot on as usual. If indeed the beancounters are now in control and doing their best to eliminate us from the equation don’t you think we should be looking at other ways of getting our message across rather than using their product, or don’t we have a choice? Maybe this is a subject for another thread, but, if we as straight, concerned and informed photographers cease to function under the current situation then we’re going to have to find other ways.

by Barrie Watts | 05 Feb 2007 09:02 | North Wales, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sion & Barrie:

No, it’s not the corporations that are in control – it’s me and people like me. I don’t like being lied to by the individuals who are there to witness and relay the facts. The reason 18,000 jobs are gone is because I, and people like me, don’t trust the information handlers one friggin bit – and apparently this is with good cause, Haj happens to be one of the reasons. It’s a distasteful irony that other individuals out there criticizing and adding to the cacaphony of information are attacked for doing so, especially when revealing underlying lies, distortions and untruths by journalists.

You want trust, earn it by reporting the facts and the truth – all of it.

by Mel | 05 Feb 2007 22:02 | Minnesota, United States | | Report spam→
Mel,
“people like you that are in control”…well I for one certainly hope not!
You see, this community (me included) hasn’t got a clue of who you are…you will notice that the immense majority of this forum’s members appear under their full real names and give much information about who they are and what their work is. So the distasteful irony here is that you, on your first post ever, less than an hour after registering, deem necessary to criticize professional journalists with a reputation and courage that you seem to be clearly missing.
Bruno.

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2007 23:02 (ed. Feb 5 2007) | home in Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Mel,

How can you be in control when you’re anonymous ? Who’s lying to you, and where do you get your truth from ? No, the reason 18,000 jobs are gone is that a large majority of the World’s population don’t give a damn about what’s going on in the World. They don’t want to see or hear the truth. The people that make up this community, who do truthfully and honestly relay the facts with a great deal of courage and professionalism, have earned their trust. OK, so you don’t trust them, that’s your right to say so. Just don’t give us that bullshit that you’re in control, please.

by Barrie Watts | 06 Feb 2007 00:02 | North Wales, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sion, I completely agree with you as well as Bernie did. It really does feel like the accountants are making the calls instead of the guys in the field. You know my local paper doesn’t hire photographers anymore, but rather reporters. then hand them off a digicam to cover their own shots now. Makes it harder for us freelancers to eat.

Mel’s comment reminds me of some Illuminati or Outer Limits sorta line.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 06 Feb 2007 00:02 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
Guilad,

Isn’t it a little ironic that you have a photoshopped (faked) picture in your gallery? And of the two pictures of yourself you’ve graced us with, I prefer the one with the war scarf. It’s the bravado… I read it in your posts, too.

About the Reuters fellow, if John’s account is accurate, it’s pretty sad. Even here in Italy ethics in photojournalism are often pretty questionable… I can’t imagine having to try to manage such low-level photographers in such a place and situation. The truth probably is that the photographer who did it probably just didn’t know better and thought it was some kind of creative license, a neat photoshop trick. With everything else that goes on in the field the distinction would probably be missed by most people. That’s the quality of contributor you get when you’re aiming for the bottom.

There are plenty of double-standards to go around. In the US there was a big brou-haha over Patrick Schneider being fired for some color adjustments after a previous reprimand for some mildly-heavy burning. He was roundly criticized and reviled in tirades similar to Guilad’s on places like on Sports Shooters. Unsurprisingly, a couple months later an Alex Majoli photo essay was brought to attention on the same forum shot on a marathon—but with even heavier photoshop manipulation and burning, as well as in the field use of flash for the same effect—but his was highly praised. I’m not judging either as right or wrong, just pointing out the wide range of both acceptable practices and hypocricy.

by Dave Yoder | 06 Feb 2007 00:02 (ed. Feb 6 2007) | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Dave: oh really? you find me sexier with my Kefiyeh? do you want to lick my balls too? thank you for your highly valued opinion!
and about the fake picture, are you talking about the Mark II with the flask and cigar lighter? does everyone in your life think your a dumb-ass or is it just everyone reading this thread?

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2007 01:02 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | | Report spam→
Giulad,

Oh no, “sexier” is your choice of words (being a little presumptuous, perhaps?). I was talking about amusement value. And no, licking your balls wouldn’t have ever crossed my mind, but I’m impressed by the depth of your homoerotic imagination. And by the way, your grammar could use a little polishing.

by Dave Yoder | 06 Feb 2007 01:02 (ed. Feb 6 2007) | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Stop it already! One undereducated photog created a pic and one understaffed and overwhelmed photo editor bumped together
in the night. NOTHING has changed. Get on with it. Stop with the “I’m a great PJ and you’re not” talk. Water under the bridge.
G.

by Gregory Sharko | 06 Feb 2007 01:02 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
God almighty, if we all dispened with the “im a great PJ and you’re not” talk, where would we be then? Perpigan would vanish in a puff of Gitane smoke for a start, (along with ahem, several photo co-ops) and the sales of kefiyehs, vintage combat jackets, Afghan hats and rangefinder cameras with crap focussing screens would plummet.

You wouldnt want that to happen…would ya?

Anyone wanna lick my ball and socket head monopod?

Mmmmm….graphite-y.

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2007 13:02 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
What is it with photographers and those bloody scarves?
Maybe in an Afghani dust bowl, but in London? Paris?
Amsterbleedin’dam?
Never understood that one myself.
Can you get them with matching gloves, you know,
with string through both arms so you can’t lose them?
Now that would be a look.

by David White | 06 Feb 2007 18:02 | Bristol, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
A war scarf is roughly equivalent to a black belt in photography.

by Dave Yoder | 06 Feb 2007 18:02 | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Chicks dig the scarves, makes us look dangerous. (Couldn’t resist)

by Aaron J. Heiner | 06 Feb 2007 18:02 (ed. Feb 6 2007) | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
This thread is rapidly degenerating. I’m now going to burn my uniform of combat jacket and Afghan hat as you’ve made me feel ridiculous, but no way the scarf. As for the gloves it’s so practical to connect them with a piece of para cord, one less thing to worry about losing.

Do any of you guys shoot pictures or do you just pose in your outfits? Maybe we can all meet up sometime for a group shot, just like the Village People ! I suggest at the Y.M.C.A …….

by Barrie Watts | 06 Feb 2007 18:02 | North Wales, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
So, Barrie. You have the matching gloves. But are they THE gloves, with the tip of your shooting finger
foldbackable? If not, para cord or not, they don’t count. Sorry.

by David White | 06 Feb 2007 21:02 | Bristol, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Well David,

I have to admit you’ve got me there. They’re woollen mittens, there’s something reassuring about always carrying something from your childhood. So I’ll just remain uncool I guess. As for the scarf, it’s just a really practical piece of clothing. At a pinch it can be used as a towel, tent, sunshade, sarong. Best of all it keeps the dust out of my hair, and the Chicks love it like that, just as Aaron said ! So that stays.

by Barrie Watts | 06 Feb 2007 23:02 (ed. Feb 6 2007) | North Wales, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
When you say “can be used as a towell”, do you mean Larry?

by David White | 06 Feb 2007 23:02 | Bristol, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Fucking great! it’s just like this professionally-suicidal-community to turn such an important conversation into a fashion panel! great job guys!!!


as i said before, we don’t need any agency or publication bosses to fuck us over, our own colleagues do it with much more talent!

and Yoder, it’s great how you re-edited your post, ridiculous little man. (how’s that for spelling?)

here’s your original post for everyone to enjoy:

Giulad,

Oh no, “sexier” is your choice of words (being a little presumptuous, perhaps?). I was talking about amusement value. And by the way, your grammar sucks.

—Dvae Doyer (like that?)

it’s just sad.

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2007 00:02 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | | Report spam→
Hei Guilad:

Chill out!

People were just trying to bring the conversation to a more quiet level after your indelicate comments.

Regarding the main issue of this post anyone is entitled to their own opinions even if they are ridiculous as the ones you posted Guilad.

Cheers to everyone.

Armando

by Armando Ribeiro | 07 Feb 2007 02:02 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Guilad,

Wow you really busted me there. Editing of posts… friggin’ unheard of. And the dirt you found… Now that’s what I call gumshoe reporting. And I may be ridiculous, but at 6’5" I’m not little.

And for you to invoke professionalism is beyond ludicrous.

Or are you just upset I didn’t accept your offer to lick your balls? I’m sorry, I just don’t swing that way, but I know a couple people who might be able to help you out with your needs if you’d like me to forward your member page (pun intended).

by Dave Yoder | 07 Feb 2007 07:02 | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Thanks Armando,

It was indeed an attempt to bring the conversation to a quieter level. I guess certain people missed the point. There’s no need to start slinging abuse at each other in this community it’s counter-productive. We should save that for the people that deserve it, in my humble opinion.

Cheers.

by Barrie Watts | 07 Feb 2007 07:02 | North Wales, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
So you don’t have the gloves then Guilad?
You’re only half way there :)

I don’t know why people have to bring things down to the level of personal attacks either.
What is the point? Childish and amateurish in my opinion. There is more than
enough nonsense and abuse going on in the world without photographers having
pathetic swipes at each other.
best

by David White | 07 Feb 2007 09:02 | Bristol, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I can let pass the constant barrage of sexism that is part and parcel of reading LS, but what’s this about “but with even heavier photoshop manipulation and burning, as well as in the field use of flash for the same effect”? – Since when was using flash “in the field” (as opposed to what?) the same thing as photoshop manipulation? Not to start another fight… although I’m sure someone could come up with some nasty personal attacks…

For my two cents on the string, it seems pretty clear to me that the point of the post was to address and examine the responsibility of Reuters (as Sion reiterated so lucidly), and not to justify photo manipulation. No one is justifying faking a photo (certainly the initial post was not doing that), and to go off on that tangent is rather to miss the point and start a fight where there isn’t one, while preaching to the chorus. Were we all reading the same the post?

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2007 10:02 (ed. Feb 7 2007) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Well, in my defense, most of my original post was on-topic…

But to answer Rita’s question, since it’s directed at what I wrote, as best I can—using flash is not the same as photoshop, therefore I wrote “for the same effect”. It’s pretty simple… Overcome the ambient light with strong strobe, balanced for the strobe, and you can get a very similar effect to burning in areas of a photo. And I wrote “in the field” as opposed to studio or controlled environment which is where heavy flash is usually used. Anyway, if you’re genuinely curious about what it’s about as you suggest, look at the photo essay I was refering to and it should be obvious, it’s probably on the Magnum site somewhere but he uses the technique quite a bit so other stories should work too for reference. And, remember, I was not condemning it. I was pointing out the broad range in ethical standards that might be confusing to people relatively new in this profession.

And I don’t think there’s been any sexism in this thread, I think the insults have been exclusively male-on-male, so to speak.

(full disclosure: this post was edited for content. Move along, nothing to see here, no grand conspiracies…)

by Dave Yoder | 07 Feb 2007 11:02 (ed. Feb 7 2007) | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Why in your defense? I thought it was pretty obvious I was only responding to those who were getting angry that we weren’t taking photo faking seriously – not your post. Your post brought up a point I’m particularly interested in, that’s all. I know the Majoli work you refer to. Photographers have always used light to define their subjects (drawing with light, after all) and the burning and dodging in post, well, it certainly has become easier in the digital age. I didn’t think we were confused by ethical standards in this post – adding smoke clouds where there aren’t any is not the same thing as shooting with low key lighting (in the field or out). I’m agreeing with you, really, in that it’s an issue to think about. But I am always curious when photojournalism is brought under scrutiny for using artificial lighting (Cartier-Bresson was set against it, Weegee used it so well, etc). It’s nice to see someone using flash as expertly and to such purposeful effect as Majoli does at the marathon. So thanks for bringing that up.

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2007 12:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
I wrote in my defence because i am probably mostly to blame for this thread careening off path…

To be clear, I do not at all condone the cloning of the smoke in the mentioned photo. It’s one of the prime sins of a professional as far as I’m concerned… But, my point was that there may be many out there who simply don’t know any better. If I were learning photography here in Italy now, watching some of the stuff that happens here I’d be under the impression it’s perfectly fine to stage photos as well (that is not to say all Italian photographers stage photos, obviously that is not the case).

I brough up Majoli’s story only because I think it was rather hypocritical, strictly in the realm of ethical debate on photo manipulation, that Majoli was praised for doing in the field (and I suspect also to some degree in the computer) what Patrick Scneider was fired for doing in Photoshop. Frankly, I didn’t think the technique worked on the marathon story, or his fashion stuff, but I don’t question his accomplishments as a photographer or suggest what he did was unethical.

by Dave Yoder | 07 Feb 2007 17:02 | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Where is the line to be drawn if the belief is that Rueters went overboard? Is it OK to lighten shadow areas to allow more detail? What about fixing white balance or adding contrast to a person’s face to better show the effects of the effects of aging? Could the rule of thumb be as simple as “only accentuate the pixels available, don’t change them?”

The editor was caught betweern a rock and a hard place. I’m sure that altered pictures get through the process all the time, but this one was caught by others in a very public way, and someone had to be the sacrificial lamb. Reuters wasn’t going to say that it was their poor management of resources, or lack of proper training and funding, so to save face, this person was fired.

Personally, I’m not as offended by the photographer’s clone-job as I am at how BAD the clone job was.

Just my 2 uneducated cents-worth.

by Brian C Frank | 07 Feb 2007 19:02 | Des Moines, IA, United States | | Report spam→
I totally agree with Sion and i think it’s very sad that instead of really solving the problem, reuters found a sacrificial lamb. it’s today journalism, and i’m sorry, but it’s not only us journalists in control, the corporations have big big power.

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2007 19:02 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
Sigh, I agree totally, there is too much big biz in the media anymore. Too much politics, too much money, too everything.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 07 Feb 2007 20:02 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
After reading this thread, I think I will retire from photography, and take up importing kefiyehs full time. Anyone interested in green?

by John Perkins | 07 Feb 2007 20:02 | Cairo, Egypt | | Report spam→

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Participants

John Bap, John Bap
Paris , Faroe Islands
Eyal Dor Ofer, Eyal Dor Ofer
Israel , Israel
Jack Kurtz, Photojournalist Jack Kurtz
Photojournalist
Bangkok , Thailand
Tomas Stargardter, Photojournalist Tomas Stargardter
Photojournalist
(Photo Editor at LA PRENSA)
Managua , Nicaragua ( MGA )
Bill Putnam, Producer. Bill Putnam
Producer.
(Video-Photo)
Washington, D.C. , United States
Ray Lewis, Photographer Ray Lewis
Photographer
London , United Kingdom
Aaron J. Heiner, Photojournalist Aaron J. Heiner
Photojournalist
(Sleeping his life away)
Baltimore, Md , United States ( IAD )
Barrie Watts, Photographer/Photojournal Barrie Watts
Photographer/Photojournal
North Wales , United Kingdom
Mel, Mel
Minnesota , United States
Dave Yoder, Dave Yoder
Milan , Italy
Gregory Sharko, photographer Gregory Sharko
photographer
Brooklyn, New York , United States ( JFK )
David White, photographer David White
photographer
(www.nospin.co.uk www.duckrabbi)
Bed , Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Armando Ribeiro, Freelance Photographer Armando Ribeiro
Freelance Photographer
London , United Kingdom ( GTW )
Brian C Frank, Photographer Brian C Frank
Photographer
Des Moines, Iowa , United States
John Perkins, Photographer John Perkins
Photographer
Cairo , Egypt ( CAI )


Keywords

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