WARNING: Graphic content. Yesterday morning, the Citizen newspaper decided to run a front page image of the bomb blast that killed eight South Africans in Afghanistan, but they manipulated the image.
The image depicted above is the image that the Citizen ran on their front page. However, the image had been digitally manipulated, despite concerns shown by staff members with respect to the ethical implications of running a digitally manipulated image.
The original image taken by an AFP freelance photographer was published in the Straits Times, and can be seen by following the link below.
WARNING: Graphic content.
Click HERE, to see the image.
This link shows a comparison between the two images: HERE.
Today, South Africa’s National Press Club called on the newspaper to explain itself in the following statement:
KABUL ATTACK – NATIONAL PRESS CLUB CALLS FOR CLARITY ON USE OF PHOTO
The National Press Club has called on The Citizen newspaper to explain itself following allegations that it digitally manipulated its front page photo of Wednesday, 19 September, of the suicide attack on a minibus in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday.
According to social media conversations and industry talk, an executive editorial decision was made to use the photo, supplied by Agence France Presse, but to manipulate it to block out the bodies of victims of the attack. This, allegedly, was done in spite of photographers calling for the use of an alternative photo.
Chairperson Antoinette Slabbert says manipulating news photographs goes against the rules of ethical journalism. “News photographers are, in essence, journalists who work in pictures. Manipulating photos that portray facts seems totally unethical. We believe The Citizen, if it did not want to show dead bodies in the photo, should have chosen to use an alternative photo instead. We call on the newspaper to explain this to the media fraternity and its readers.
“Photographers and journalists have to adhere to strict ethical standards when doing their job and we believe they should be allowed to speak up when their rights are affected. The National Press Club will continue to be vocal on issues affecting ethics in the journalism profession.”
Johann Hattingh, a freelance photo-journalist working mainly for Sapa, Epa, AP and the Citizen, expressed his feelings on Twitter:
#citizenclone cloning dead out of pic, unethical unethical unethical!!! Pics ed complained, senior ed staff was ok with it!!! WTF!!!
— Johann Hattingh (@Slanghattingh) September 20, 2012
He went on to say that the pictures editor had been overruled by more senior staff members, and that the senior editorial staff had made the decision to publish the manipulated image.
What are your thoughts?
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