Posted by: davidrcollier | July 9, 2009

Remember the Maine

A few stories I’ve seen today that relate to our discussion yesterday on the use of doctored images.

This doctored photograph – do they really have to resort to fake pictures of Franken looking silly? – has been used in the LA Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Drudge Report and by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

La Prensa newspaper has been caught doctoring a picture from the Honduran protests – warning, original picture fairly graphic.

And slightly less dramatic, the New York Times has had to issue a retraction for a photo essay which used numerous doctored photographs:

“A picture essay in The Times Magazine on Sunday and an expanded slide show on NYTimes.com entitled ‘Ruins of the Second Gilded Age’ showed large housing construction projects across the United States that came to a halt, often half-finished, when the housing market collapsed. The introduction said that the photographer, a freelancer based in Bedford, England, ‘creates his images with long exposures but without digital manipulation.’

“A reader, however, discovered on close examination that one of the pictures was digitally altered, apparently for aesthetic reasons. Editors later confronted the photographer and determined that most of the images did not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show. Had the editors known that the photographs had been digitally manipulated, they would not have published the picture essay, which has been removed from NYTimes.com.”

The images can be seen here.

The use of doctored photographs have long been used in the media and, as we saw with the depiction of the USS Maine, to often times dramatic effects. Other times not so much, as the poorly worked picture of Oprah below shows.

We will be looking at these issues next week when we talk about bias.

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