Category Archives: Journalismism

Is society numbing to photo manipulation?

Being that I know a lot of people still in or connected to the newspaper business, I’m still usually pretty in the loop when it comes to news of the media world, especially when it comes to newspapers in northern California.

So, the big story out of that neck of the woods was the sacking of long-time Sacramento Bee photographer Bryan Patrick for photo manipulation.

The full explanation from the Bee is here. But here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

First, a reader alerted the Bee that a photo Patrick took of egrets during a bird festival in Galt may have been manipulated because the same plants showed up the background. As it turned out, the reader was right: Patrick had combined two photos into one more interesting image. The Bee suspended Patrick and began doing reviews of his past work if he had done this in any other cases. When two more manipulated photos turned up in that review — removing his shadow from one and enlarging flames of a wildfire in another — that was essentially, three strikes, you’re out.

Inside the journalism word, the opinion is pretty much unanimous that Patrick committed serious ethical violations and deserved to be fired. (One comment I saw via Facebook was “If you want to create art, open an art gallery”) The Bee’s comment section? Not so much. The amount of people commenting that they didn’t think the manipulations were such a big deal is pretty substantial. Continue reading