The manipulation of the TIME cover is a classic example of what was previously called “manipulation,” but is now arguably “processing.” Although the fidelity of the embedded image is poor, I would guess that even with the skin toning and burning of some parts of the face, that none of the tone went to black (i.e. no significant material was removed). In other words, the TIME cover, from my understanding of the WPP statement, would not be disqualified in the 2015 World Press Photo contest. (I’m happy to be wrong)
That’s a pretty serious offence. So it would appear that 20% of the cream of the crop of the world’s photojournalists who made it through to the finals of the WPP are in serious breach of their code of professional ethics as a consequence of entering, and being ‘found out’. Breaching their ‘hippocratic oath’ for want of a better description.
Photo on the front page of Monday’s Houston Chronicle
Hoping to forge a conversation on what happened and how the photojournalism community might move forward, Lens has asked several participants in the World Press Photo competition, as well as other photographers, to reflect on these issues.
Given that the detection of manipulation in 2014 and 2015 occurred in different rounds, it’s impossible to tell whether there has been an aggregate increase, but a few key issues remain:
I think most would agree that “material addition or subtraction” from a still frame is a blatant affront to viewers and to the truth. We should all be alarmed that twenty percent of final-round images had some element of outright fabrication
A large number of entries were found to have been manipulated or post-processed carelessly
In a statement, John Moody, the executive editor of Fox News, said that after careful consideration the network felt that giving its audience “the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video. Online users can choose to view or not view this disturbing content.”
So look. Then turn away. If you don’t need to look, I’m with you. If you need to look, you don’t have to apologize. Whatever you do, realize that the stakes are higher than had been imagined. For the same reason, know that it becomes all the more important to understand why ISIS exists at all, and how to break the cycle of violence and the downward spiral that serves them all too well. For that, we need many other images, and much more as well. Not least, we need to appreciate how civilization is a way of seeing
99% of the conversation regarding what can and cannot be done to a photograph is about post processing, after the image has been taken . Little, or none, is about before or when the image is taken.
Cry Me an Exoneration: After Officer Kills Civilian, Police Use Video as Sympathy Propaganda, Media Bait
A police shooting in Montana and the subsequent use of that video, however, not only raises disturbing questions but opens a Pandora’s Box of new concerns over how and how much these videos can be selectively edited and distributed as propaganda … and how much the media can collude with the state to distribute these versions.
Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley points out that the image—used to adorn multiple stories this month on the NRA’s political advocacy site—sure looks like this stock photo of a “campaign rally” from Getty
One ultra-orthodox Jewish newspaper decided to cover the story a little differently, though: it’s front page photo was a manipulated one that left out female world leaders.
Most legacy news media organizations said Wednesday that they have no plans to publish or broadcast photos of Charlie Hebdo cartoons portraying the Muslim prophet Mohammed, while many new digital outlets are running the images.
instead of giving snapshots of what the industry is doing and how policy varies from one desk to another, why doesn’t the World Press follow-up with a 5 point document that clearly define what is acceptable/not acceptable in photojournalism today and tomorrow and politely asks for everyone making a living ( or not) from this profession to approve it and implement it
In response to the increasing ambiguity over acceptable levels of manipulation in photojournalism contests, World Press Photo commissioned a report entitled “The Integrity of the Image: Current practices and accepted standards relating to the manipulation of still images in photojournalism and documentary photography.” It’s 20 pages long, so here’s the tl;dr:
What is current practice, and what are the accepted standards internationally, when it comes to the manipulation of still images in photojournalism? Earlier this year, the World Press Photo Academy commissioned Dr. David Campbell to conduct research on “The Integrity of the Image”, and to assess contemporary industry standards worldwide. The report of his findings is now available.
Every digital image must be touched by software before you see it. But when each pixel is affected, who decides what is true?
The picture is gut-wrenching. It also tells the story. That’s why we chose to run it