What's wrong with this guy

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by tr0gd0o0r, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    I was looking over the photoblog of some local photojournalists and found this: http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2007/04/toledo05.html. I can't imagine what must of gone through this guys head to believe that adding a basketball to a photo is alright. Removing legs and stuff I can understand how he would come to a conclusion where that would be alright, but still, he's a professional. What do people here think of the zero tolerance of stuff like this?
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I don't know... personally I don't see a huge problem with removing bits of tree etc if they're not relevant to the subject. And the guy standing behind the number 19? Is he the coach? Is there any significance to him being there? There too I don't see in any harm in it. Same with the electrical cord removed from hair salon equipment... sure it would have been more honest to leave it or to physically remove the wire but again I don't see the removal of a power cable as a huge breach of journalistic standards (and let's face it, plenty of journalists regularly write stuff that's far more dishonest and deliberately misleading). As for adding the ball, I do think that is pretty bad. Unlike some random feet or a cable, the game here was the subject of both the image and the story, and it's a misreprentation of the events of the game, even if the ball was only a few feet away. But again I don't personally think the other examples were that bad.
     
  3. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    As a former photo journalist (back in the film only days) I can relate to this story.

    The Blade treats photos like quotes. As a quote needs to be the exact words spoken ... so to a photograph needs to represent realty. The removal of legs ... even though it did not materially alter the image ... made the image not a factual representation of what occurred at that place and at that time. The photo was not real. The Blade is to report news not create fiction.

    To make it even simpler... The Blade had a standard/rule of No Cloning. That photo was cloned ... the photog broke the rules ... the consequence of breaking that rule is severe.

    I cannot tell you how accuracy was pounded over and over again in college journalism classes. If you misspelled a person's name your paper got an F, misquote a speaker ... F, no attribution ... F. The Blade's photog did the worse thing a journalist can do, pawned off fiction as fact ... make believe as realty.

    Gary
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I’m OK with cloning out the cord (looked like a poor job at it) and legs in the examples, but adding the ball goes past reasonable limits IMO

    Also I’m old enough to know that most mainstream journalism outlets today tailor their reporting to the flavor of the day that will advance their and their advertisers needs.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I agree Jeff, the ball was going too far. But like you I don't buy the black-and-white fact-and-fiction argument. Not because I don't believe in the importance of truth and accuracy in journalism, obviously I do. But simply because I think it's hypocritical to complain about the inaccuracy or untruth of removing some limbs (whether tree or human) not central to the story, when written journalism consistently distorts or omits facts or context, and the "reality" has to be carefully picked out from the authorial or editorial opinion. I believe journalism can be incredibly valuable but it can also be unbelievably cynical and malevolent... and in that context, cloning out a hairdresser's power cable doesn't seem that terrible to me.
     
  6. jimiismydaddy

    jimiismydaddy TPF Noob!

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    I can see where the arguments are coming from. but I dont see it as horrible. The story didnt change, the ball makes the picture interesting. It looks funny with two guys reaching for thin air, and they were reaching for a ball, just didnt get captured in the original shot, so its not like the story of the picture changed.

    Its not like hes working for a tabloid and putting Brittney Spears head on a 400 pound woman.
     
  7. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    I would have to agree with the course of action taken by the Blade in this case.

    While cloning out a couple things doesn't seem to change the story, its still not portraying the truth. Though it is rather inconsequential if the cord in question is in the photograph or not, it is crucial in this age that readers are able to believe the photographs they see in the newspaper.

    In the world of professional journalism, I think even having the need to clone small things out is unexcusable. It would have taken the photographer all of ten seconds to walk to the other side of the hair dresser's table to get a photo without the cord in it. If the cord is a problem and the subject is important, he should have a different shot somewhere.

    I also do not buy the argument that removing legs from the aforementioned photograph is harmless. People don't generally just stand behind a banner on the fence, but this person clearly is. He/She is there for some reason, whatever it is IS part of the story.

    As for the argument that reporters consistently twist and spin the truth, this may be. But I bet that anyone caught intentionally removing facts would face the same consequences. Any amount of this that does occur in the course of reporting, is more than made up by the numerous control photogs have over what they shoot, they don't need free reign to remove bothersome objects.
     
  8. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    I believe in zero tolerance here as well...In art photography, some cloning, manipulation, etc. is acceptable, because the object is to have the best photo possible, but when your job is to accurately depict an event, NOTHING should be changed. It's the same thing in the audio documentary world. My teacher told us a story of an interview conducted in New York, but street noise was added. That in itself is acceptable in audio documentary, but the sound clip was from Chicago...he was immediately fired by NPR.
     

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