Photoshopping or digitally altering pics is ubiquitous (
ooh look i used a big word) on the interwebs, but it’s rather rare for a mainstream newpaper to intentionally publish manipulated images that portray facts. That is exactly what The Citizen did yesterday though and they are on the recieving end of some serious media flack with some calling it unethical journalism. The front page showed an AFP image of the recent deadly Kabul bomb attack that killed 8 South Africans, but The Citizen digitally cloned out two dead bodies.
The blurry area bottom right of the destroyed car is where one of the bodies was removed and you can see the original image HERE (warning: some may find it graphic).
The manipulated image was heavily critisised on social media platforms with several photojournalists, including those who do work for The Citizen, questioning how ethical it is. This prompted the National Press Club of SA to release the followuing 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.” [read the rest HERE]
Earlier today The Citizen released the following response.
Apparently the entire photographic department was up in arms over the editorial decision to publish the image, but were laughed off.