Sunday, June 06, 2010

Reuters Cropping Photos From Israeli Flotilla Raid

Media outlets are slowly releasing photos that were taken at various stages during the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara that led to nine activists on board being killed by Israeli commandos trying to recover the Israeli troops that had been severely beaten and seriously wounded by "activists" on board.

Yet, it seems that Reuters opted not to release one particular photo in its original form. It cropped key details.

 The image shows a wounded Israeli soldier that had been dragged below decks. By itself, you have no idea what happened to the soldier.

That's the uncropped photo, and you see someone holding a knife at the bottom right corner.

Reuters opted to crop the photo, and by doing so it appears to have violated its
code of principals. Moreover, it may be a violation of the Reuters Guide to Standards and Photoshop.

While cropping is permitted by Reuters, this particular instance fundamentally changes the nature of the photo and the story being conveyed and I think it would violate those terms. The guide does permit cropping, but does not permit adding or removing details. Here, the cropped photo does just that - it removes details.

Reuters officials need to explain how and why they opted to crop the photo in this fashion - and why they did not follow their own guidelines.

And this isn't the only photo either
- there is another photo sequence that shows someone on board brandishing a military style knife, but Reuters opted to edit out that detail.

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