Associated Press severed its relationship with photographer Narciso Contreras after the news agency learned the Pulitzer prize-winning lensman manipulated a digital image of a Syrian rebel fighter by using software to remove a colleague’s (difficult to notice) video camera in the lower left corner of the frame, notes Grumpy Editor.
The action was taken after Santiago Lyon, AP’s vice-president and director of photography, said that while the alteration involved a portion of the image with little news importance, it breached AP’s requirements for truth and accuracy.
Grumpy Editor reminds that touching up photos once was a common practice with daily newspapers. The procedure was for photo editors to send black-and-white glossies to editorial artists where they would paint out “busy” backgrounds/foregrounds and eliminate wrinkles from faces of entertainers and other people in the news, among other tasks.
That routine included AP photos.
Also, photos were cropped to eliminate extraneous areas.
That, too, would be “shocking” today.
In the controversial image snapped last September by Contreras, a Mexican citizen, Lyon said AP’s “reputation is paramount and we react decisively and vigorously when it is tarnished by actions in violation of our ethics code. Deliberately removing elements from our photographs is completely unacceptable.”
See before and after images here:
In case you missed these…
PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST TOPS BEST CREATIVE JOBS CATEGORY. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Jobs of 2014” tally places public relations specialist atop the “Best Creative Jobs” category. That position is followed by art director and architect. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects public relations specialists employment growth of 12 percent through 2022. That amounts to 27,400 jobs to be filled. PR profession claims No. 85 spot on the 2014 Best Jobs list.
BARTIROMO'S DEBUT ON FOX BUSINESS NETWORK SLATED. Former long-time CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo officially joins Fox Business Network as its global markets editor on Saturday. She will anchor a daily program for FBN plus a weekly business-oriented show for Fox News Channel.
MEDIA QUIET ON REPORT UFO ZOOMS BY JET. Remember when anything relating to UFOs grabbed front-page headlines worldwide? All was quiet in media last week after a report surfaces that a British airliner flying to Manchester from Spain encountered a near miss with a bright silver, metallic “rugby ball-shaped” unidentified flying object. Pilot of the Thomas Cook A320 says he ducked as the object flew toward his aircraft, passing “within a few feet” above the jet which was flying 516 m.p.h. in daylight at 34,000 feet.
WHY AD READERS SAY FORGETABOUTIT. With ample space in a Friday full-page ad, JCPenney lists 22 “end of season savings” in small, difficult-to-read white words on red background. At the bottom, four lines of almost unreadable tinier print relates to “while supplies last” and “selection may vary by store.”
CNN CUTS VETERAN STAFFERS --- BUT PLANS TO HIRE. CNN lays off more than 40 senior journalists, including an executive producer who spent 32 years at the network, reveals a delayed story out late last week. Cuts are mainly in Atlanta, Washington and Los Angeles. Despite that action, a CNN spokesperson says the cable network will add about 100 people this year, as it is “investing in journalism.”
PORTLAND DAILY READIES SWITCH TO TABLOID. The Oregonian is downsizing in format, going to tabloid from broadsheet. Along with the new 15 by 11 inches size, local, national and international news will be combined in the main news section. Sports will continue in a stand-alone section. Some sections switch to the new size next month with the full change by April 2.
NISSAN MOTOR CO. CITED FOR MISLEADING AD. The Federal Trade Commission claims a Nissan TV commercial --- in late 2011 --- was deceptive because it showed a Frontier pickup pushing a stalled dune buggy up a steep sand dune when, in fact, the buggy and the Frontier were pulled up by cables.
FEED BACKYARD BIRDS, GET A HEFTY FINE. Not getting wide national media attention is a Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., report that a retired Bethlehem couple is facing an excessive $1,000-a-day fine for feeding their fine-feathered-friends. Seems the bird feeder on their property is deemed out of compliance with a town ordinance designed to curb squirrels and other wildlife. The ordinance, in part, calls for a squirrel-proof top and catch basin affixed at the bottom of feeders.