THE CITIZEN NEWSPAPER DIGITALLY REMOVES CONTENT FROM PHOTOGRAPH; NEXT TIME WILL THEY ADD A BUNCH OF FLOWERS NEXT TO THE BODY?

PM has been pondering this for the last few days. Lets start at the beginning. The Citizen newspaper digitally removes (clones out) content from a photograph that is published on the newspapers front page. Obviously/understandably people are peeved by this, and who ever signed off on this decision, can fairly be described as having acted in a way that suggests they are dumber than a bag of hammers. Consequences trickle in. You can get the gist here and here .

The Citizen apologies, stating it had not intended to remove the bodies, just to pixellate them, and  some (random) person had not pixellated them as directed, but removed them. PM’s first question is – who signed off on the fuck up? Cause the editorial staff must have seen it. Surely somebody signs off on the final layout? It was on the front page, not an easy thing to miss – you would think.

Blurred bodies in image magically become no bodies = nothing happened = no one died= what is the news here= Why is This a Front page news story= wait there is something missing here !?! oh yes! the bodies !

So the Citizen did this by accident? Nope, PM just can’t believe this was done by accident, not in the way they suggested in their statement anyway. Anyone who “accidentally” disrespects the power of images, in a newspaper of all places, should be fired/ dropped kicked off the playing field, and the person who hired them should also be fired.

PM gets why a newspaper might want to blur scenes of a graphic nature. Fair enough, but why not just use another image not so graphic? If PM was the AFP photographer who took the original image that the Citizen fucked with, PM would be feeling, at very least, a bit pissy at this point. In fact, PM would think that AFP’s legal team should be knocking on the Citizens door with a very concerned (grumpy as all hell) letter about “the terms and conditions” that the Citizen agreed to when they purchased the rights to use/distribute that image. Surely there are terms and conditions that protect the photographers and AFPs integrity?

Its seems to PM, that the Citizen, one way or another has brought its integrity and ethical standing into question – big time.

Anyway, the above aside. Let’s get down to the real nitty – gritty. If altering an image and presenting it as “real” (for whatever reason) can be done by “accident” with no one noticing before it goes to print. What’s to stop somebody from doing it on purpose all the time? If employees of the newspaper get fired for complaining about it publically, will the rest be silenced through fear of losing their jobs?

Below is the “accidentally” altered image and below that , the original.

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3 Responses to THE CITIZEN NEWSPAPER DIGITALLY REMOVES CONTENT FROM PHOTOGRAPH; NEXT TIME WILL THEY ADD A BUNCH OF FLOWERS NEXT TO THE BODY?

  1. andresc says:

    I’ve often been amazed at the amount of post-production evident in most prominent newspapers – clear to anyone with any real Photoshop experience – though admittedly it usually has more to do with enhancing the impact and ‘retina burn’ of the images. Obviously partly to enhance the sell-ability at news stands and hawkers. But for me the fascinating part of this episode is how clearly it reflects what has been happening in news media in general, especially in terms of nationalisation. The text and messages are just images in a different medium, and maybe seeing this kind of manipulation happening visually will help the public realise (on some probably still subconscious level) how susceptible the ‘news’ is to manipulation of narratives, re-framing of facts etc. Sometimes purely to make it as attractive/sensational as possible, but obviously also to serve vested interests and their agendas. Then again, nha… that’s probably wishful thinking :-|

  2. andresc says:

    sorry, ‘nationalisation’ was supposed to be ‘sensationalism’

  3. andresc says:

    ps. its the actual edit is also pretty dismal in quality

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