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Thread: Journalistic Integrity : Pulitzer Prize winning photographer sacked

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Journalistic Integrity : Pulitzer Prize winning photographer sacked

    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    At least this guy had a level of humility to admit it, that it was a mistake, and accept the consequences.

    It's more common to see/hear/read of photographers angrily denying their ill deeds.

    I still fail to see the rationale of the photographers decision to clone out the video camera in the first place.
    I guess it's hard for him to differentiate what we(as a reader) sees and what he actually saw in the field. He knew of the distraction as a video camera, but when viewing the scene itself(without cloning) the video camera isn't a distraction at all! . In fact if it weren't for the information that it was a camera, at the size of display and level of darkening of the video camera, it looks like any other piece of war mongering hardware on casual glance of the image.

    Had he had the benefit of a disconnected attachment to the image he would have realized how little the video camera caused a distraction in the image. Such a trivial editorial matter and he loses his job over it.
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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    AP's "News Values and Principals" clearly state its a no-no, so I guess he thought it better to leave after falling on his own sword than, some time from now someone potentially dredge it up and undo some other important story

    Seems relatively trivial in the scheme of things. Its not as though he isn't working in an Industry where the written word isn't constantly twisted or taken out of context

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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    Its not as though he isn't working in an Industry where the written word isn't constantly twisted or taken out of context
    Agree. I am yet to read a newspaper story about a subject or event or occurence, of which I happened to have firsthand knowledge of, where the journalist actually got the facts right. I' m sure it happens occasionally.......accidentally perhaps ??


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    Quote Originally Posted by MattNQ View Post
    Agree. I am yet to read a newspaper story about a subject or event or occurence, of which I happened to have firsthand knowledge of, where the journalist actually got the facts right. I' m sure it happens occasionally.......accidentally perhaps ??


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    Agree!

    I found it interesting that he cloned it out as it really had no context either in or out the photo. It doesn't change the viewers perception, not like adding a bomb cloud, removing a person, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    It doesn't change the viewers perception, not like adding a bomb cloud, removing a person, etc.
    Or does it?

    The image reminds me of the staged images from Iraq where many images shows the same man (he was hired to appear in several staged theaters). The video camera in the corner of the original image suggests we are looking at a not-so-unique image and the connection is easily made with the Iraque images.
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    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Staged news photography... http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/10/16/med...photos-staged/

    No images altered, just that the whole scene is a fabrication

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattNQ View Post
    Agree. I am yet to read a newspaper story about a subject or event or occurence, of which I happened to have firsthand knowledge of, where the journalist actually got the facts right. I' m sure it happens occasionally.......accidentally perhaps ??


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    Couldn't agree more. Even more concerning is the way things are reported for a politcal bent or bias, someone always seems to have an agenda behind why they report something and how they spin it. I find it almost impossible to believe anything I read anymore in the newspapers or on TV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Staged news photography... http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/10/16/med...photos-staged/

    No images altered, just that the whole scene is a fabrication
    Thanks for sharing that.. I really enjoyed watching that film too, a bit of an eye opener!
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    Integrity is in short supply. I guess this is why the ABC can't seem to afford much of it.

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    Even if someone does not alter an image, the composition can change the context and message.

    Eg. Imagine a scene that has a violent armed crowd and a police officer holding a gun pointing at the crowd.
    At the front of the crowd is a teenage girl.
    Lets either crop (or zoom) such that only the police officer and the girl are in shot.

    Two completely different messages are communicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimrodisease View Post
    Thanks for sharing that.. I really enjoyed watching that film too, a bit of an eye opener!
    It certainly opens the eyes to what may go on.
    Constructive critique of my photos is welcome and appreciated.


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    In some ways the removal of this photographer and his work by the organization could be seem as a little heavy handed when compared to other scenarios we see happening in our society.

    Especially when one starts to look at the media, advertising, labeling. eg Misrepresentation, blatant manipulation, by including or excluding relevant information because they can all for the sake of keeping the share holders happy and it's allowed by the law. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that allows these things to continue and governments are held at ransom almost because of cashed up companies, minority lobby groups.

    OH well that's my rant for the day in another subject that could go on & on &...................
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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I do find a little ironic in that I have no doubt a large number of staging happens for photos and yet the removal of a camera which has no relevance to the photo is seen as a fraud.
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    In my own experience as a photojournalist ( 15 years ) such manipulations of the final image were common. Where do you draw the line ?? . Vignetting , dodging and burning , are all manipulations of the final image. 16mm lens shot low down are distortions of the reality. Politicians left off the print because they were standing on the end were common and pollies knew not to get caught on the end. The very act of taking a picture removes the reality from context. What the 'media' are trying to protect is the stupid notion that photojournalists shoot reality. That photographers actually 'capture' reality rather than the photographers conception of reality. Around this deception words are written and we have newspapers.
    I see nothing wrong with that photographer removing that video camera - he was no doubt trying to 'clean' up his image . The problem is we have taught everyone that a photograph is reality when it is nothing of the sort.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k8ez View Post
    In my own experience as a photojournalist ( 15 years ) such manipulations of the final image were common. Where do you draw the line ?? . Vignetting , dodging and burning , are all manipulations of the final image. 16mm lens shot low down are distortions of the reality. Politicians left off the print because they were standing on the end were common and pollies knew not to get caught on the end. The very act of taking a picture removes the reality from context. What the 'media' are trying to protect is the stupid notion that photojournalists shoot reality. That photographers actually 'capture' reality rather than the photographers conception of reality. Around this deception words are written and we have newspapers.
    I see nothing wrong with that photographer removing that video camera - he was no doubt trying to 'clean' up his image . The problem is we have taught everyone that a photograph is reality when it is nothing of the sort.
    I tend to agree. I think there are two kinds of photo manipulation. Those with sinister intentions which intend to give a distorted perception of what occurred and those that are there purely to improve the overall quality of the image. This is nothing sinister in this manipulation. Does this mean that every photo in future needs to be provided as is out of the camera? Isn't d-lighting giving a warped perception of the situation by creating lighting where it didn't exist? Is a photo journalist allowed to use flash because that could be construed as image manipulation (maybe they aren't, I don't really know).

    Perhaps the reason for the harsh outcome is that there is a clear set of guidelines provided to each photographer which they know they have to adhere to and this is going outside of that.

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    Perhaps the reason for the harsh outcome is that there is a clear set of guidelines provided to each photographer which they know they have to adhere to and this is going outside of that.
    Not perhaps but for sure.

    First, the 'tog was a freelancer not an employee, so he was not sacked as such.
    Secondly, AP have very well known guidelines.
    Thirdly, the said 'tog broke the rules and now AP won't use his images.

    Which is all that we need to know sor this specific case.

    The other discussion about journalistic integrity is interesting but only partly relevant to the specific case.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k8ez View Post
    In my own experience as a photojournalist ( 15 years ) such manipulations of the final image were common. Where do you draw the line ?? . Vignetting , dodging and burning , are all manipulations of the final image. 16mm lens shot low down are distortions of the reality. Politicians left off the print because they were standing on the end were common and pollies knew not to get caught on the end. The very act of taking a picture removes the reality from context. What the 'media' are trying to protect is the stupid notion that photojournalists shoot reality. That photographers actually 'capture' reality rather than the photographers conception of reality. Around this deception words are written and we have newspapers.
    I see nothing wrong with that photographer removing that video camera - he was no doubt trying to 'clean' up his image . The problem is we have taught everyone that a photograph is reality when it is nothing of the sort.
    Not so sure about that. I have never been under the impression that photography was reality, especially in the media, and I don't know too many people that do think that way and those that do would have to be quite naive.

    Surely, as a journalist, you have seen many cases of editors and photographers collaborating to put across a particular bent or bias to suit their cause.

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