See the response from REUTERS at the bottom of this article.
Eagle-eyed reader Universalgeni
has sent in via e-mail this amazing story
from Aftenposten. It seems that a reporter at that newspaper has analysed two photographs sent across the newswire by Mohammed Salem
, who is frequently featured here at Snapped Shot.
What's curious about these photographs is, according to Aftenposten, the background
. Pay particular attention to the pictures on the wall--you can click on the photograph on the right to view an enlarged copy. What is significant about this is that a wire photographer has potentially participated in
the correction of a scene, inserting a more sympathetic picture into the background where previously was only a picture of a known and admitted terrorist
. At the very least, there is a possibility that Mohammed was aware
of the change, and elected not to take notice of it.
It's interesting to see that Aftenposten takes its role as investigative
journalists seriously, instead of immediately rushing to the defence of a wire photographer who may
have taken part in something which is against the very ethics of photojournalism
. And alas, it is something which seems to have completely escaped the notice of the Reuters editor's desk, yet again.
Here's a translation of the article, courtesy Universalgeni, whose English is far
better than my Norwegian.
Tampering with the back ground: Hamas altered Reuters photo from bomb attack
By KURT HAUGLI
First published: 12.06.07 | Updated: 12.06.07 kl. 14:01
On the first photo that the Reuters photographer took after a shell hit the home of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Hanieyh, it is Hamas' founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin that is hanging in a frame on the wall.
But when one of Hamas' cleaning guys was showing the shrapnel to the photographer from Reuters in an arranged photo in the same place in the house, the picture of Ahmed Yassin was suddenly gone.
Instead there was a picture on the wall, where the Palestinian Prime Minister has a prominent role.
Smiling and waving
The Hamas founder Yassin is still in the picture, but less prominent. On this picture Ismail Haniyeh is pushing the wheelchair of the strongly disabled leader who was killed in an Israeli air strike on march 22. 2004.
It is very clear, that the Hamas leadership found it more correct to have a picture of their current leader as back ground for the photo - smiling and waving with the green Hamas cap on his head.
The attack this morning
It was this morning that a shell hit Haniyeh's home. Most likely it was Fatah who attacked the Prime Ministers house. The fighting between the heavily armed groups of the two government parties Fatah and Hamas resumed in Gaza this week.
Scores have been killed in increasingly severe fighting
So, yet again, we see a situation wherein a terrorist entity is using the Western press service to disseminate propaganda which suits its message. How much evidence of this propaganda do we need, before we've had enough? If our western news services really do
have a problem with being used as a propagandistic tool
, why do we continue to accept the lies and propaganda
which these enemy-affiliated stringers send in?
Sadly, I suspect I already know the answer to that question.
My hat is off to Aftenposten, for refusing to blindly accept the propaganda at face value.Update:
Reuters has responded
Photographers from Reuters and other news organizations were at the house taking pictures when one of Haniyeh’s sons decided he wanted a picture of his father on the wall, so he put it up in place of the one of Sheikh Yassin, in mid-photo shoot. We did not censor our shots by, for example, only using the pictures with Haniyeh’s photo in them, and we can’t very well stop people from rearranging their homes as they see fit. Indeed, both of those photos went out, side by side, to our photo clients: GBU Editor
In my opinion, once a newswire has been informed or notices that a scene of interest is being manipulated, no matter
by which party, they should remove the photographs in question from their feed, as there is no longer any way to validate that the information being presented is factual
Unless, of course, Reuters is not in the "fact" business.
Tags: mohammed salem