Reuters in the Ethics Hot Seat

According to the National Press Photographers Association website, last week’s photojournalism controversies have led Reuters to be in the ethics hot seat.

After Patrick Schneider’s firing from the Charlotte Observer for toning and el Nuevo Herald’s doctoring of two images to create one fake photo, Reuters’ Head of Public Relations, Moira Whittle, in a statement issued Sunday in London, said, “Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously and it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures.”

Continuing she stated, “The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under.”

And finally, “This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him.”

Late Monday another statement was released by Reuters saying, “Reuters has withdrawn from its database all photographs taken by Beirut-based freelancer Adnan Hajj after establishing that he had altered two images since the start of the conflict between Israel and the Lebanese Hizbollah group.”

Reuters Global Picture Editor Tom Szlukovenyi also made a statement saying, “There is no graver breach of Reuters standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image.”

Summaries of the accounts can found on the NPPA website http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2006/08/reuters.html

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