Articles about "Photo Errors"


Man sues GateHouse paper over photo error and ‘meaningless and failed’ correction

This story starts with two men, both named Angel Ortiz.

One was indicted for raping a child, among other offenses, in December. The other wasn’t — but the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, Mass., used his photo in its story about the other Angel Ortiz.

Yes, a big mistake. It’s also exactly the type of error I highlighted in a recent post offering advice on how to avoid photo mix-ups.

This incident is made even more egregious because the paper published the story — with the wrong photo — on its front page. After being informed of the mistake, MetroWest Daily News removed the image from its website and published a correction in the next edition of the paper, on page two. (The online version of the article does not include the correction.)

The paper’s action’s did not satisfy the wrong Mr. Ortiz, who filed suit against the GateHouse Media publication February 1, according to a report by Framingham Patch.

His lawyer, David H. Rich, told the site, “The MetroWest Daily News published an inadequate, ineffective, unreasonable, meaningless and failed ‘correction’ in small type buried at the bottom of page 2.”

He also said the paper “failed to respond to or remedy in any meaningful or legally recognizable manner the damage it knew it had caused Mr. Ortiz.” From Framingham Patch:

Rich said he wrote a letter to The MetroWest Daily News Editor Richard Lodge on Dec. 16, demanding a front page retraction. Lodge responded the paper would run something the next day, Saturday, Dec. 17, according to Rich, and he told Rich the photo “immediately removed the photo from the website,” upon receipt of the letter.

“The retraction ran on the bottom of page 2, with no photo,” said Rich.

Lodge, contacted by telephone, said the newspaper does not comment on pending litigation.

This lawsuit raises the issue of what the U.K.’s Press Complaints Commission calls “due prominence” — the idea that a correction should be given placement that is commensurate with the original error. Here’s the relevant passage from that body’s Editors’ Code:

A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.

One of the core elements of Ortiz’s suit is that the mistaken photo ran on the front page, but the correction was placed on page two.

Another issue raised in the action is that the paper failed to recognize that the photo it used was taken close to a year earlier in a different courthouse. Framingham Patch quotes from the filing that, “The MetroWest Daily News apparently located a photograph of the plantiff [sic] and published it without conducting any investigation whatsoever to confirm whether the Angel Ortiz referenced in the front page news article was the same Angel Ortiz identified in the photograph.”

It’s interesting to see a lawsuit that includes a focus on a news organization’s failure to perform proper verification, and to offer sufficient correction. Read more

Tools:
2 Comments

5 tips for getting photo IDs right

Mistaken identifications are among the most common photo errors I see corrected by the media. People in photos have either been mislabeled internally or by a photo or wire service, or someone hasn’t checked the image to verify it’s showing who they think it does.

A case in point: this Monday correction in The Independent

In our print edition of Friday 3 February we ran a photograph of an actor named David Bradley under the heading “stars who have slipped.” We very much regret that we used a photograph of the wrong David Bradley and that the David Bradley we pictured is still enjoying a highly successful career, including playing Argus Filch, the caretaker in the Harry Potter films.

This is a bit tricky, as the photo was in fact of an actor named David Bradley — it was just the wrong David Bradley.

Then there are other photo mistakes that on their face seem less clear and forgivable. Here’s a February correction from The Daily Mirror:

DUE to an error in yesterday’s report concerning the fatal shooting of Alan McNally, the photograph on page 1 purporting to depict the late Alan McNally was in fact of another man who is not involved in any of the matters referred to in the report.

We apologise for the error and for any confusion caused as a result.

We are happy to correct the position.

Or this January apology from the same paper:

ON Friday 30 December 2011, as part of an article concerning a drugs test investigation at Hull FC, we published a picture of a man we said was Ben Cooper who has been suspended for his role in the affair.

In fact the picture was of Stuart Donlan, the assistant coach of Castleford Tigers, who has never been involved in any way with any drugs testing incident. The photo was supplied by an agency. We offer Stuart Donlan, his family and friends our sincere apologies.

These errors are embarrassing for the press, and they cause people to suffer shame and disrepute. I offer a few tips below for how journalists can avoid misidentifying people in photos. I’d also love to hear advice from photo editors and other journalists. Please add your tips to the comments and I’ll update this post with additional advice.

1. Compare the image to other samples. One way to avoid mislabeling or otherwise misidentifying an image is to compare it with other photos of the same person, place or thing. If the photo is from your archives or staff, compare it to similar shots from agencies or other news organizations. This is especially important when identifying people accused of a crime or wrongdoing, or people who have died. The same goes for images of unfamiliar locations.

2. Verify the caption. Often the photo has been labeled correctly in a database, but an error is introduced when adding or editing a caption. It’s a good idea to check the caption against the entry in a database/archives. That means it’s important to maintain a clean archive. (My final tip can also help with this.) Along the same lines, don’t assume an archival label is correct. See if other images in the archive with the same label/caption match up, and also remember to compare to outside sources (tip #1) to uncover discrepancies.

3. Check with the reporter. If the accompanying story was produced by one of your staffers, quickly show her the photo to ensure it’s of the person she saw/interviewed, or of the correct place/product. Always take advantage of firsthand knowledge when it’s available.

4. Maintain an internal list of tricky pics. Maybe there’s a local official that shares a name with a celebrity, criminal or another person likely to be in your photo database? Maybe your news organization has trouble distinguishing between a prominent father and his son? Every beat and community has its share of problematic photos. As a result, it’s important for photo and copy desks to maintain a shared and regularly updated list of the people and images they are prone to mistake. One way to ensure the list is regularly consulted is to have one person tasked with collecting new submissions and sending them to team leaders of all relevant parties. From there, people can email/print out the latest copy and keep it on their desks. (Or better yet, taped to their monitors!)

5. When you find an error, fix it. Internal archives can be a constant source of error if you don’t follow up and help fix mistaken entries. Create an internal process to ensure mistakes are corrected in archives. This could mean designating one person to the job, or working with your library/archives team if you have one. Whenever possible, add annotations to the archival entries for those aforementioned tricky pics in order to remind people to double-check that it’s actually the photo they intend. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

A photo mixup at The Daily Mirror killed the wrong man:

DUE to an error in yesterday’s report concerning the fatal shooting of Alan McNally, the photograph on page 1 purporting to depict the late Alan McNally was in fact of another man who is not involved in any of the matters referred to in the report.

We apologise for the error and for any confusion caused as a result.

We are happy to correct the position.

The Daily Mirror (U.K.)

Tools:
0 Comments
bbchoax

Interview with a hoaxster: How I fooled the Daily Mail with fake pic

Jody Kirton didn’t set out to fool the press, he just got lucky.

As detailed by the great Tabloid Watch blog, an image created by Kirton ended up forming the basis of a story on the Daily Mail’s website. Here’s the image in question:

Looks pretty authentic, yes? Well the image of a snow-covered road and cars never aired on the BBC, wasn’t taken in Lutterworth, and it certainly wasn’t submitted by anyone with the name Shanda Lear. (Chandelier, anyone?)

Kirton, a truck driver and photographer, created the image in Photoshop and then made it look like it had been on TV. After the Mail somehow discovered the image, it published a story headlined, “Not a name to make light of! BBC News shows picture taken by viewer called Shanda Lear.” It began:

It was meant to draw attention to the heavy snowfall which has started to blanket parts of the UK.

But when a viewer’s picture was shown on BBC News, all eyes were quickly diverted to the rather illuminating name of the person who sent it in.

Below the scene of snow-covered cars along a misty street in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, the name Shanda Lear popped up, much to the amusement of those watching.

I got in touch with Kirton to get the backstory and see if he’d intended to reel in the press. Our edited email Q&A is below. He says it was an accident, but that it’s inspired him to engage in more trolling. So consider this a look at how a hoax can be perpetrated by a lack of fact checking — and how it can inspire average folks to try it again.

Can you tell me a bit about your background? Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a lorry driver but also a photographer for Phlex Media (a joint venture with my best pal Chris Linham).

We do mainly music event photography.

In fact, you might be aware of another of my works, it spread quick but stayed away from public eyes, it was the “DMA gunfinger video.” Basically I caught a girl and lad getting intimate at the front row of a dubstep music awards show in Birmingham, UK. The video was banned off YouTube in 45 mins after over 200,000 views!

Why did you decide to create the Photoshopped image of that BBC report? Were you hoping a media outlet would be fooled into thinking it was real?
The snow photo started as a joke between friends, because we were fed up with people getting excited over a little flutter of snow, so we were posting old photos of deep snow and saying it was this week in nearby locations!

I went a stage further and edited the photo and put the BBC banners onto the still image. I changed the text to make it more realistic for today, including the year.

Then I added a local place, which is a few miles from where I live, and a funny name. (I have used similar names in past when texting radio stations, like Neil Lingdown, Benny Fitzraud, Jack Nife etc).

I then saved the static jpg image onto a memory stick and plugged it into my TV.

Then it sat there looking like a paused TV channel, so I took the actual photo with my BlackBerry and posted it to my PhlexMedia Facebook page.

A few friends had a joke about it, and that was it, until this morning I get a message saying it was seen on Daily Mail website!

What was your reaction when you saw the Mail had used it as the basis for a story?

I couldn’t believe the DM used the image as part of a story, acting like they had also seen it live, which as described was impossible! That image stayed on the memory stick until this morning where I posted it to my Facebook page to show and explain to friends how I did it.

Now that this ended up being treated as true by at least one media outlet, do you have any regrets about fooling people? Is there a lesson here for you or others?
I don’t have any regrets in doing this, I feel it has proved how a joke between friends can make national news almost!

What I don’t understand is how they saw my image, it was only on my page!

With this success under your belt, are you planning more hoaxes?

More hoaxes… of course! A very good friend of mine who runs a clothing business — ‘Zest Clothing’ — has a very similar attitude and we are always playing jokes and ‘trolling’ online … it drives people mad but keeps us sane! Haha!! Read more

Tools:
3 Comments
RadioTimes

UK’s Radio Times apologizes for photo showing Royal Marine’s little soldier

Here’s a reminder to make sure you inspect handout photos for any, um, irregularities.

UK listings publication Radio Times issued an apology after it accidentally published a photo of a group of Royal Marines that showed one man’s penis. The story was about a documentary airing on Channel 5, and the photo was provided by that organization’s PR department.

A censored version of the photo, via the Radio Times website, is below. From the apology:

It has come to our attention that an apparently innocent photo of the Royal Marines’ 42 Commando unit – printed by Radio Times in good faith and issued by Channel 5’s publicity department to promote the documentary Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan – contains the sight of one of the marines playing a prank.

“I know that British soldiers serving in Afghanistan are well equipped, but seeing the roll call of Royal Marines gives the expression a whole new meaning,” wrote one reader in a letter to RT this morning.

Read more
Tools:
7 Comments

ON Friday 30 December 2011, as part of an article concerning a drugs test investigation at Hull FC, we published a picture of a man we said was Ben Cooper who has been suspended for his role in the affair.

In fact the picture was of Stuart Donlan, the assistant coach of Castleford Tigers, who has never been involved in any way with any drugs testing incident. The photo was supplied by an agency. We offer Stuart Donlan, his family and friends our sincere apologies.

An apology from the Daily Mirror

Tools:
0 Comments

Attorney Scott Tenley was misidentified as Emanuel Goffer in a photo caption accompanying the continuation of an article on the government’s broad insider-trading investigation in Wednesday’s Money & Investing section. The person who was supposed to be pictured, Mr. Goffer, is a figure who was convicted in the case. Mr. Tenley is a lawyer for another figure in the case and his photo appeared in error.

A correction in the Wall Street Journal

Tools:
2 Comments

A prominent photograph showed – according to the caption – “the five men originally charged with Stephen Lawrence’s murder being pelted with eggs after giving evidence at a public inquiry.” Only four of the six men shown in the picture – a crowd scene from June 1998 – were charged in the Lawrence case. For the avoidance of doubt: the man most prominently shown in the foreground of the shot, wearing spectacles and a blue shirt, was not among the accused, nor was a sixth man shown in the photo’s rear (4 January, page 7).

A correction in The Guardian

Tools:
0 Comments

An archive photo showed a famous woman — aproned, holding a saucepan and contemplating several wine glasses — in a galley kitchen (Ironing lady, 30 December, page 10). Our caption read: “Margaret Thatcher, as PM, attends to domestic concerns at 10 Downing Street.” In fact, notes a reader, “the photo shows almost the opposite: it’s a publicity still from a BBC TV series called ‘Take Nobody’s Word For It. ‘ ” The reader, who worked on this 1987 series, goes on: “Mrs Thatcher is appearing as a ‘guest scientist’ doing kitchen chemistry experiments; she’s explaining that red cabbage can be used as an indicator for acid and alkali, and she’s about to pour the red cabbage water from the saucepan . . . into the wine glasses with acid, alkali and neutral liquids in them, to show the colour changes.”

A correction in The Guardian

Tools:
0 Comments