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Ned
08-07-2006, 12:04 PM
[The Topic Description was truncated when I posted it. The full description should have been, "How many other lies and fake photos have gone on undetected about Iraq and the Middle East?"

Originally posted by from Reuters - 07 Aug 2006 14:38:33 GMT
Reuters withdraws all photos by Lebanese freelance

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."

The news and information agency announced the decision in an advisory note to its photo service subscribers. The note also said Reuters had tightened editing procedures for photographs from the conflict and apologised for the case.

Removing the images from the Reuters database excludes them from future sale.

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 enquiry 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 Aug 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.

Filing drills have been tightened in Lebanon and only senior staff will now edit pictures from the Middle East on the Global Pictures Desk, with the final check undertaken by the Editor-in-Charge, Reuters said.

Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff contributing photographer from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005. Most of his work was in sports photography, much of it outside Lebanon.

Hajj was not in Beirut on Monday and was not responding to calls. He told Reuters on Sunday that the image of the Israeli air strike on Beirut had dust marks which he had wanted to remove.

Questions about the accuracy of the photograph arose after it appeared on news Web sites on Saturday.

Several blogs, including a number which accuse the media of distorted coverage of the Middle East conflict, said the photograph had been doctored.

ebrener
08-07-2006, 04:06 PM
Ned,

Here's a very graphical demonstration of what was done with the picture: Little Green Footballs (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21956_Reuters_Doctoring_Photos_from_Beirut&only).

Other examples of media abuse:
Same picture used twice (http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014919.php)

Another case of "recycling" (http://drinkingfromhome.blogspot.com/2006/08/extreme-makeover-beirut-edition.html)

Another massacre that wasn't (however, the initial impact such inaccurate news makes cannot be measured):
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) — Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Monday that one person was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the southern village of Houla, not 40 as he had earlier reported.

“The massacre in Houla, it turned out that there was one person killed,” Reuters quoted Siniora as saying. “They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of about 40 people ... thank God they have been saved.”

Siniora had earlier told Arab foreign ministers in Beirut that the attack “was a horrific massacre ... in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing.”[/b]

Regards,

Enrique

REDJIM
08-07-2006, 04:22 PM
You and I know there's no sweetness and light in warfare, Ned. Innocents get slaughtered simply because they're in the way of combatants. The Tamal Tigers(or was it the Sri Lankan Army)just massacred 16 unarmed French relief workers. But it's our Presidents' Foreign Policy that get skewered here at home and internationally. This generations' press is far more pompous than any in the past(I think). The whole "need to know" concept has been corrupted by news gatherers who don't have a clue for cultural or geopolitical or historical contexts of war.

I'm for supporting the sons and daughters of our country no matter where they're sent to serve; and shutting up about all the other dross that surfaces when the world is at war.

Forgive me for venting. Please forgive me for venting.

Ned
08-07-2006, 09:30 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(REDJIM @ Aug 7 2006, 05:22 PM) 33655</div>
You and I know there's no sweetness and light in warfare, Ned. Innocents get slaughtered simply because they're in the way of combatants. The Tamal Tigers(or was it the Sri Lankan Army)just massacred 16 unarmed French relief workers. But it's our Presidents' Foreign Policy that get skewered here at home and internationally. This generations' press is far more pompous than any in the past(I think). The whole "need to know" concept has been corrupted by news gatherers who don't have a clue for cultural or geopolitical or historical contexts of war.

I'm for supporting the sons and daughters of our country no matter where they're sent to serve; and shutting up about all the other dross that surfaces when the world is at war.

Forgive me for venting. Please forgive me for venting.
[/b]
RJ, no forgiveness is necessary. What's wrong with venting, and what's wrong with stating what you believe?

I agree with much of what you've said. Not only do I think the press is pompous and self-righteous (which in part accounts for the mind-numbing mistakes they've been making day after day), but I don't think they've been attracting very many people who are bright enough to know what they're doing. They used to get top quality people, but no any more apparently. I say that because they seem to miss even the most simplistic truths evident from the news. And part of the reason is as you mentioned, a lack of knowledge of history, culture and politics.

I too support our sons and daughters who serve our country. They are in harms way, and they've put themselves there for our benefit. However, I believe it is our duty as citizens to speak up about our government and governmental policy when we think it's wrong, even in time of war. I think, under the circumstance of war, however, that how you do it is very important.

I have said it many times, that I believe our President has been terribly wrong headed about Iraq and our entire Middle East policies, with very few exceptions, and yet as we are there, we must do what is best for our troops. Part of the problem is, however, that in my opinion, the President has been giving far too much lip service to their support and not enough real concrete support to them. If we keep quiet, I think we do our troops a great disservice.

The other problem is that when our military personnel violates its own rules, regulations and laws, for whatever reason, I cannot support those very few who broke the laws, simply because they've put their lives on the line. To do so, puts those who carry out their job within the UCMJ in jeopardy, because it allows other countries to discard their laws on how our military is treated by those countries. We can't claim moral superiority unless we stick to our moral and legal code.

Thanks for letting me vent.

REDJIM
08-08-2006, 04:07 PM
Well said, Ned.

Being a pure american chauvinist, as I proudly am, I'm always outraged when mass genocide and civil war atrocities committed by dictatorships in the Third World are tsk-tsked by international tribunals and the press and the UN. But woe be tied if any representative of the U.S. errs when in fear, or uninformed, or misinformed, or fatigued, or battle-weary, or just simply p*ssed off by the insensitivity and stupidity of a population they are sent to liberate. Then the U.S. is excoriated as The Great Satan.

Yeah, sure.

My Lai changed the conduct of war by western powers, forever. But I'm not sure that is a good thing.

clarkef
08-30-2006, 04:13 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ned @ Aug 7 2006, 09:30 PM) 33690</div>


The other problem is that when our military personnel violates its own rules, regulations and laws, for whatever reason, I cannot support those very few who broke the laws, simply because they've put their lives on the line. To do so, puts those who carry out their job within the UCMJ in jeopardy, because it allows other countries to discard their laws on how our military is treated by those countries. We can't claim moral superiority unless we stick to our moral and legal code.

Thanks for letting me vent.
[/b]

Here is one of the times that we agree completely. I expect the American military to be held to exceptionally high standards. Mistakes are made, but when we break our own laws, we must be held accountable.