“LONDON, England (Reuters) — Reuters withdrew all 920 photographs by a freelance Lebanese photographer from its database on Monday after a review of his work showed he had altered two images from the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
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.
Here is the real meat of the matter:
“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 inquiry 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 August 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.”
They think that the other 918 are ok, but I really question whether they conducted a thorough investigation of the other photos. How do we know that there aren’t more. Certainly this provides more evidence of the possibiliy of additional media manipulation.