WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Concerns About Doctored Photos

Jan 29, 2013

The panelists discuss recent concerns about a doctored photo posted to US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Flickr site.

A piece by the Radio Television Digital News Association reported that Pelosi gathered 57 of the 61 Democratic women now in Congress for a photo on the Capitol steps. By the time the image appeared on the Flickr site, the missing women had been included through the use of Photoshop.

Groups such as RTDNA and the White House News Photographers Association protested release of the doctored image. WHNPA President Ron Sachs said it called into question the integrity of photos released by the government.

The Shop Talk panelists said journalism groups have long opposed the manipulation of photographic images. National Geographic apologized years ago after using an altered image of the Pyramids that squeezed them a bit closer together to create a better cover shot.

However, news photos are often cropped to create better composition. Some observers complain even that can be considered an editorial manipulation that distorts the true nature of the image.