Saturday, August 12, 2006

LA Times Article Bashes Media on Reutersgate

In an article that frankly, surprised me, the Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten comes down hard on fellow journalists for failing to take the Reutersgate scandal seriously enough.
(left: smoke clouds were augmented by Hajj, and damaged buildings cloned to make damage more dramatic)

Here, Rutten dismisses Reuters' explanations for why the altered photos were used:
There are, however, two problems here, and they're the reason this controversy shouldn't be allowed to sputter to its inglorious conclusion just yet: One of these has to do with the scope of what strongly appears to be wider fabrication in the photojournalism Reuters and other news agencies are obtaining from their freelancers in Lebanon. The other is the U.S. news media's grudging response to the revelation of Hajj's misconduct and its utter lack of interest in exploring whether his is a unique or representative case.
Then Rutten encourages readers to explore what the bloggers have discovered.

There's more, and it's worth your time to take a look. That's one of the undeniable strengths of the Internet and of the blogosphere, and the fact that it is being employed to help keep journalism honest ultimately is to everybody's benefit.
And Rutten doesn't shy away from raising the question that many bloggers have asked:
That brings us to the most troubling of the possible explanations for these fraudulent photos, which is that some of the photojournalists involved are either intimidated by or sympathetic to the Hezbollah terrorists. It's a possibility fraught with harsh implications, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and openly.
The article is so frank and unflinching that one could almost forgive Rutten for snubbing Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report, who first published news of the second altered Hajj photo.

You may be required to register (free) with the LA Times in order to read this piece. It's worth the aggravation.

Via The Moderate Voice.