Reuters Drops Photographer Who Faked Israeli Bomb Results.
By IsraelNationalNews.com & Ha'aretz
Reuters News Agency has announced it is cutting from its payroll a freelance photographer who altered a photograph that showed that the results of an Israeli bombing were far worse than in reality.
An American news site caught the fake when it noticed that the billows of smoke in the photo showed a repetitious pattern. However, the news agency said that the photographer, Adnan Hajj, said the image was changed after he tried "to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under."
Hajj also photographed images of a dead child in the explosion in the village of Kana last week. Several private web sites have questioned the veracity of the pictures.
In the original image, thin smoke can be seen rising over the Lebanese capital, but in the second photograph, thick, black smoke can be seen billowing over the buildings.
Reuters said that it has fired Adnan Hajj, the Lebanese photographer. The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters. "This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.
Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff free-lance or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.
He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media's coverage of the Middle East conflict.