Doctored photo

Doctored photo
Doctored photo

A Wisconsin guy apparently was responsible for figuring out that a Reuters photo from the conflict in Lebanon published worldwide was tricked up:

The furor over a photograph began in such a quiet, ordinary way.

Edited Photo


This photo combination shows two of the same images of smoke rising from burning buildings after an Israeli airstrike on the suburbs of Beirut by Beirut-based Reuters freelance photographer Adnan Hajj. Reuters fired Hajj after discovering he manipulated the image on the left so it showed more smoke.


Mike Thorson, a Janesville artist and part owner of a tool distribution company, was sitting at his computer on a Saturday, checking a few news sites after looking at his e-mail. On Yahoo, he came across a Reuters photograph purporting to show the smoky aftermath of an Israeli air raid on the Beirut suburbs.

"As soon as I saw it something looked very strange," said Thorson, 39.

What he found led to a story that raced around the globe and resulted in Reuters' severing its ties with photographer Adnan Hajj.

Looking closely at the photography, he saw an odd pattern in the thick, black clouds of smoke rising from the bombed area. He recognized the effect, a bit of Adobe Photoshop magic called cloning.

Reuters has been accused of anti-Israel bias in the past...this doesn't help. Here's a current piece in the American Spectator:

Many of Reuters' critics have questioned how a trained photo editor at a major news organization could have failed to recognize that the photos were digitally altered, while  bloggers  easily noticed that they were manipulated. Despite being convinced that there is a clear anti-Israel bias at Reuters, I do not believe that the photo editors at the wire service ran the images knowing that they had been manipulated. In my view, the culprit was a phenomenon I call the Fog of Reuters.

As a wire service, Reuters imposes deadlines so tight that when I worked on the New York news desk, the publication time of our stories was measured down to the second. On any given day, the agency asks its journalists to churn out such a massive amount of news, information, and images that it's as if they were working on an assembly line.

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