Social Question

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Do you think that it is unethical for the media to digitally alter images within the news?

Asked by gearedtolaugh (304 points ) February 6th, 2012

No altering photos is not ethical, especially within the news which is supposed to be the truth. How is a digitally altered photo “the truth”? On the news and related public media, most people want to read the truth and not hear gossip. If somebody were to see a picture that was altered, the first thing they are going to do is tell somebody else about it, and they’ll tell somebody else, and so on. The rumors about that certain photo would soon be all around the world, even if the photo was altered. Opinions?

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9 Answers

chyna's avatar

Do you have an example of a news outlet altering a picture?
I know rags like the National Enquirer do this, but an actual news outlet? I’m not sure I’ve heard of that lately.

MrItty's avatar

It sounds like you’re either referring to something specific but not telling us what, or that you “heard” from “somewhere” that this happens “all the time”, and are now outraged about it, without even a shred of evidence that it happens, pretty much ever. Clarify, please?

Blackberry's avatar

Uh, the news does more unethical things than that.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

http://mediamatters.org/research/200807020002
There’s an example. I’m not referring to something specific, I didn’t “hear” from “somewhere” that this happens “all the time”, I’m not outraged. Evidence? It does happen. Pictures of a UFO in the sky might be altered, how would you even know if they’re real? I’m simply just asking for opinions of altered photos, and I stated mine.
@Blackberry So, news does more unethical things than that. I was asking about this, not other things.

Mariah's avatar

@gearedtolaugh That link was the first thing I thought of when I read this question.

Editing people to look uglier to plant immediate subconscious disdain in our minds is not okay. Let us make our judgements on our own, using accurate and relevant information.

Furthermore, where is the line drawn? What if instead of yellowing somebody’s teeth digitally I, say, digitally added a swastika tattoo to somebody’s forehead? Why should one be okay and not the other?

Here’s another example that blows my mind even more. At first glance nothing seems awry. But notice: the point that says 8.6% at the very end is considerably higher up than the point that says 8.9% near the beginning. This graph was altered to give the appearance that unemployment is not getting better when it actually is. These are hard numbers they’re messing with: is there any way whatsoever to justify that?

King_Pariah's avatar

Yes it is unethical, and very irritating. But personally I loathe quotes taken out of context even more so. Thanks for making me sound like an arrogant stupid narcissitic prick! (that was at the local newspaper, not anyone here). Back to the topic at hand, it’s wrong and is disturbing that they’d be so inclined to in some way misinform the public and sway the opinion of the masses. They really need to be as unbiased as possible and leave opinions for the editorials.

MrItty's avatar

Fox and Friends is not “The Media” any more than The Daily Show is. It’s a conservative pundintry show. They have absolutely no resemblence to the news media. You may as well get upset about the National Enquirer using Photoshop.

Blackberry's avatar

@gearedtolaugh No problem lol. : )

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

As a photographer, with seven years as a photojournalist, I love these questions.

Here’s the latest fake photo being used to flame the Israel/Palestine conflict.

But the fake photo issue goes far beyond journalism.

Wildlife Photo of the Year photographer José Luis Rodriguez has been stripped of his title after experts determine Photoshop manipulation of a recognized wolf actor for hire. Photographer denies all accusations, but can’t answer key questions from photo society. His photo was rejected after the book was published. So history is forever marred by the fraud.

A fake Amber Alert Photo caused an entire community to go searching for ghosts. This costs tax payers money and much undo stress on civil services.

Long time ABC News Photographer fired for altering published images… He should know better.

And I love it when radicals publish altered photos of Obama being stupid because it’s a perfect excuse to show the same trick on Bush before.

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