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August 6, 2006
Reuters 'Fesses Up

In a refreshing change for a global media outlet, Reuters did not claim to have received the infamously doctored photograph of Beirut from Lucy Ramirez at a Texas rodeo, but instead admitted that the image had been manufactured. They have also started disciplinary procedures against Adnan Hajj, the hack that has generated other questionable war-scene photography:

A Reuters photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has been withdrawn after coming under attack by American web logs. The blogs accused Reuters of distorting the photograph to include more smoke and damage.

The photograph showed two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital. Reuters has since withdrawn the photograph from its website, along a message admitting that the image was distorted, and an apology to editors.

In the message, Reuters said that "photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience."

Reuters' head of PR Moira Whittle said in response: "Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures."

Ynet News credits the blogger who first scored the kill on this photograph: Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. Ace o' Spades, Hot Air, and Left & Right get honorable mentions as well. They did a great job picking this one to pieces, and Charles can score a big takedown on this one. Now we would like to hear an explanation from the photography editors at al-Reuters why they didn't catch this prior to publication. After all, as the MSM continuously reminds us, they are the experts and have multiple levels of editorial control, blah blah blah.

Here's an image we'll want to save:


Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 6, 2006 9:15 AM

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