The Daily News seems to have digitally altered a photograph of someone wounded during the explosions at the Boston Marathon Monday. A wound on the person’s leg disappeared in the version of the photo the Daily News ran.
That’s not great, but the quote a Daily News spokesperson gave Capital’s Joe Pompeo is arguably even worse: “The Daily News does not comment on its editorial decision-making.” That’s a curious stance for an organization that purports to hold others responsible for their actions.
“If you can’t stomach the gore, don’t run the photo. Period,” writes Charles Apple, who first blogged about the apparent manipulation.
Poynter’s Al Tompkins wrote yesterday that graphic images can help the public comprehend a tragedy:
I see a reason to use such images while the story is initially unfolding. It is not the time to sanitize our understanding of what happened.
“Several News insiders told Capital the decision to alter the photo came straight from the top of the masthead,” Pompeo writes. He quoted one source as saying: “Photographers and editors are so embarrassed and saddened by this.”
“It’s really unfortunate when flawed editing decisions become the news about the news,” Poynter’s Kenny Irby said. “The media’s credibility is further eroded. Grappling with graphic photographs is and shall certainly continue to be a stark reality, and information consumers (readers/viewers) deserve clear disclosure about what they are being presented.”