Boston Marathon: Lessons in Photojournalism Ethics

55 %
45 %
Information about Boston Marathon: Lessons in Photojournalism Ethics
Education

Published on February 27, 2014

Author: bjwilson

Source: slideshare.net

Description

The bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon posed classic challenges for photojournalists and editors: what pictures to take, what pictures to publish, how to publish them. This show illustrates some of the findings of a 2013 survey of non-photographers and professional photojournalists and illustrates differences, and similarities. Key finding: Non-photographers are more tolerant of manipulation than professional photographers. Discussion of ethical decision-making needs to occur before an event occurs.

Warning: This presentation contains graphic content. ! Photographs remain copyrighted by the original photographers and are used for illustrative purposes only.

All I Needed to Know About Photojournalism Ethics,
 I Learned in Kindergarten ! Presented by Bradley Wilson, Ph.D. Midwestern State University

Ethics: An Age-Old Discussion Ethical issues may pit the photographer’s professional duties against his or her own conscience. Ken Kobré

Discussion on ethics “Every day, every edition, we face challenging decisions. We know that many of the calls we make in a few minutes on deadline can have a lifelong effect for someone, particularly a subject of a story. We consider it an awesome responsibility.” David Boardman Seattle Times

Discussion on ethics “Although many editors found the images [of 9/11] disturbing, the overwhelming reason for publishing them was that they added to the visual storytelling about what happened during and after the terrorists attacks. Many editors believed that readers needed to be exposed to the disturbing images in order to fully understand the story of the day.” Renee Martin Kratzer and Brian Kratzer “How Newspapers Decided to Run Disturbing 9/11 Photos” Newspaper Research Journal, Winter 2003

Digital Ethics: Evolving Standards One of the major problems we face as photojournalists is the fact that the public is losing faith in us. Our readers and viewers no longer believe everything they see. John Long

Sports Illustrated, December, 2012

Sports Illustrated, on Nov. 26, 2012, altered the color of the jerseys in the football players at Baylor University. In which of the following photograph types would you accept this computer editing change? 30.6 Never 34.91 40.83 2.49 Hard news 1.89 2.5 8.54 Feature 11.32 11.67 30.6 Illustration 29.25 25.83 27.76 Always 22.64 19.17 0 Professionals (n=285) College students/advisers (n=108) High school students/advisers (n=120) 10 20 30 Percent 40 50

Photo by John Tlumacki Boston: Another Study in Tragedy I always wondered what it would be like when I see photographers covering this stuff all over the world. It’s haunting to be a journalist and have to cover it. I don’t ever want to have to do that again. John Tlumacki !

Boston: Another Study in Tragedy Research questions: What are the ethical standards both in terms of what can and should be documented and published and how? How far is too far when it comes to the digital manipulation of spot news images?

Online, huffingtonpost.com ran the image 
 with no alteration. Was this acceptable? 87.06 Yes 87.7 12.94 No 12.3 t = 0.24 p > 0.05 no difference between professionals and nonphotographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

The Philadelphia Inquirer was one of the many news publications that chose to crop the image as it was used on page 1 of the April 16 print edition. Was this acceptable? 85.96 Yes 88.52 14.04 No 11.48 t = 0.88 p > 0.05 no difference between professionals and nonphotographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

Online, the atlantic.com ran the image with Jeff Bauman’s face blurred. Was this acceptable? 42.75 Yes 58.68 57.25 No 41.32 t = 4.41 p < 0.001* significant difference between professionals and non-photographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

In addition, theatlantic.com later added a disclaimer. Should the website have added this disclaimer? 68.9 Yes 76.52 31.1 No 23.48 t = 1.07 p > 0.05 no difference between professionals and nonphotographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

Online, huffingtonpost.com ran this image with no alteration. Was this acceptable? 91.92 Yes 88.43 8.07 No 11.57 t = 1.14 p > 0.05 no difference between professionals and nonphotographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

In print, the New York Daily News ran an altered version of the image with the leg injury on the left removed. Was this acceptable? 18.21 Yes 33.91 81.79 No 66.09 t = 3.33 p > 0.001 significant difference between professionals and non-photographers 0 25 50 Percent Professionals (n=285) Non-photographers (n=122) 75 100

5 Q20 How appropriate is it to do the following types of computer adjustment to news photographs that appear on the front page or in the news section of your local daily newspaper? 4 3 2 1 0 Cropping All High School College Professional Color correction Removing distracting elements Removing larger objects Adding/Removing people Moving objects 0 = never 3 = sometimes 5 = always

Q21 “Accurate representation is the benchmark of our profession. We believe photojournalistic guidelines for fair and accurate reporting should be the criteria for judging what may be done electronically to a photograph.” 100 95.45 92.44 80 60 40 t = 2.06 p < 0.05* significant difference between professionals and college; small effect size 20 0 Professional Non-photographers

Q23 “Adhere to the principle of reproducing photos that represent reality. Documentary news and feature photos should not be manipulated.” 100 95.04 85.95 80 60 40 t = 3.84 p < 0.001* significant difference between professionals and college 20 0 Professionals Non-photographers

Q24 “Altered images should be obviously false to the reader.” 100 80 83.51 66.1 60 40 t = 3.96 p < 0.001* significant difference between professionals and college 20 0 Professionals Non-photographers

Q25 “Any manipulations should simply include routine cropping, color correction to restore the color balance to what appeared in the actual scene, or dodging/burning to improve reproduction quality.” 100 95.77 91.74 80 60 40 20 0 Professionals Non-photographers

Q26 “Readers should know that an image
 was altered.” 100 90.32 85.71 80 60 40 20 0 Professionals Non-professionals

Q27 “The highest and strictest standards should be applied to hard-news photographs.” 100 99.29 95.04 80 60 40 20 0 Professionals Non-photographers

Q29 “Do you have any company policies that would limit the amount of alteration in an image?” 100 80 60 40 40.84 31.95 35.14 20 0 17.65 All High School College Professional

Conclusions Non-photographers are more tolerant of digital manipulation than professional photographers. • Manipulation should be obviously false. • Manipulation of spot news images should be minimized and generally kept to what it takes to improve reproduction quality. • Editors are gatekeepers but in light of evolving technology, street photojournalists need to be trained as editors. •

Conclusions Companies, colleges and universities and schools need to discuss and to adopt policies regarding photojournalistic ethics — in advance of incidents. • Discussing all the facets of ethical decision making is still a worthy endeavor. •

Conclusions While specific ethics changes from profession to profession, their foundation does not. The foundation is basic, simple honesty, the kind you learn in kindergarten: Don’t tell us stories about things that didn’t happen. Don’t show us things that don’t exist. Ben Brink |“Question of Ethics: Where Does Honesty inPhotojournalism Begin?” 
 News Photographer | July 1988

By Bradley Wilson, PhD Midwestern State University bradley.wilson@mwsu.edu bradleywilson08@gmail.com Twitter: @bradleywilson09 ©2014

Add a comment

Related presentations

Related pages

Photojournalism Ethics on Pinterest | Boston Marathon ...

Explore Neelofer Lodhy's board "Photojournalism Ethics" on Pinterest, ... See more about Boston Marathon Bombing, ... Photojournalism ... ...
Read more

Photojournalism in 2012: A year of excellence, ethical ...

... A year of excellence, ethical challenges ... Slippery ethics. ... Were there other unforgettable moments in photography and photojournalism that you ...
Read more

"Ethics in Photojournalism: Authenticity and Sensitivity ...

Journalism’s ethics ... Using visual analysis of four photographs from the Boston Marathon ... Ethics in Photojournalism: Authenticity and Sensitivity ...
Read more

University Profile Database » Midwestern State University

Dr. Bradley Wilson ... "Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing," peer ... and lessons learned in photojournalism ethics from the Boston ...
Read more

4 Media Missteps in Reporting on Boston Marathon ...

Photojournalism Ethics ( 322 ... possible misinformation related to the Boston Marathon bomb ... in Reporting on Boston Marathon ...
Read more

NPPA Special Report: Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography

... have guided us in traditional photojournalism should be the ... Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography." ... Lessons in Life and Death ...
Read more

National Press Photographers Association | NPPA

NPPA's 2016 Women In Photojournalism Conference has returned for the second year of its revival. ... ETHICS MATTERS: ...
Read more

Syllabus – Photojournalism

11 Lessons Diane Arbus ... and ethics in photojournalism do not appear ... in the photojournalism world. Items on the syllabus may be subject to ...
Read more

Journalism Ethics - The Huffington Post

Journalism Ethics. Page: ... Ethical Lessons. ... Boston, Ny Post Boston Coverage, Ny Post, Boston Marathon Bombing, Storyful, Fbi, Libel, Salah ...
Read more