On Monday, it added further charges, saying he had manipulated at least one other photo — and that all of his recent pictures had been deleted from the news agency’s data base.
Reuters also said today it had put in place a tighter editing procedure for images of the Middle East conflict to ensure that no photograph from the region would be transmitted to subscribers without review by the most senior editor on the Reuters Global Pictures Desk, according to a Reuters spokeswoman.
“There is no graver breach of Reuters standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image,” said Tom Szlukovenyi, Reuters Global Picture Editor, 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.”
He added that the fact that Hajj had altered two of his photographs meant none of his work for Reuters could be trusted either by the news service or its users.
Its Monday statement, after describing the flap over the first image, reads: “An immediate enquiry began into Hajj’s other work. It found on Monday that a second photograph, of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon and dated Aug 2, had been doctored to increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three.”
If manipulating a photo is as easy as it appears, then how many others have been manipulated? I don’t mean just the Hajj photos at Reuters. Have other photographers manipulated photos to increase their chances of being published?
Michelle Malkin makes a great suggestion:
If Reuters had half a brain, it would post all of Hajj’s photos on a separate site and welcome continued blogger analysis that uncovered this debacle in the first place. Withdrawing the photos to cover their tracks is a dumb idea.
If they are interested in the truth, they will harness the power of the Internet’s distributed intelligence network–not cut it off.