Daily News won't comment on why it altered photo from Boston explosions

Capital | Charles Apple

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.

The Daily News ran the photo in an inset on its front page Wednesday (click image to view bigger).
Here's John Tlumacki's original shot (courtesy Boston Globe)

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."

Related: Daily News doctored a doctored Leno-Fallon photo | Pelosi’s office releases doctored photo of female lawmakers | NPPA president: Sacramento Bee photo manipulation a ‘betrayal’

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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