Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reuters is Shameless or Incompetent, or Worse?

Via Doc, I came to this, from Charles Johnson. Now he is a web designer, and was one of the key players, perhaps the central one, in the exposure of Dan Rather's attempt to use falsified documents in the guise of news in the last election campaign, and the linked post is about his trained eyes catching a suspicious Reuters photo.
As Doc's post points out, Reuters has gone so far as to admit that it has suspended the photographer (who was also shot many of the photographs from Qana that also raised suspicions). More on the same guy here.
Johnson points out that after the withdrawal of the photo by Reuters, it still has currency elsewhere, one of the problems with this sort of thing. Hard to get it back in the stable.
Reuters has been under severe criticism about its choice of stringers, photographers, and its editorial handling of reports for a while. This example is a nice concrete instance explaining why.
And finally Johnson reports this howler from Reuters, showing their apparent lack of commitment to really getting to the core of the problem:

“The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under,” said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

I myself am moderately new to digital editing of pictures to clean up dust marks, etc. There is NO WAY that could account for what Johnson documents. Shame.


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