Here are the complete works of photographer Adnan Hajj, the photographer whose picture of smoking Beirut Reuters has now “killed” and reissued in “corrected” form. Reuters has yet to explain what happened, who altered the photo, and whether other of of Hajj’s (or Reuters’) photographs may have been staged or altered. (Thanks to Pajamas Media.)
UPDATE: Ken Sanders writes:
You are missing the bigger point. There is NO WAY this one guy could be taking all of these pictures – look at the images and dates. Does he have a flying car? The question: is he simply a clearinghouse for Hezbollah propaganda, routed expeditiously through Reuters? Looks like they pay the guy to forward unverified images (sometimes doctored or staged, as you’ve helped explain) taken by others.
More research is clearly warranted, and Reuters apparently is not inclined to introsepction on the subject.
JOHN adds: Reuters has announced that it will publish no more photos from Mr. Hajj. Reuters also describes Hajj’s defense:
“The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under,” said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.
“This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him,” Whittle said in a statement issued in London.
Right. It’s interesting that Reuters, in its own account of the controversy, tries to inoculate the Qana pictures taken by Mr. Hajj:
He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media’s coverage of the Middle East conflict.
Reuters and other news organizations reviewed those images and have all rejected allegations that the photographs were staged.
There is a difference, of course, between “staged” and “faked.” I’m not sure how you can tell from “reviewing the images” in question whether or not they were staged.
UPDATE: Cox and Forkum comment; click to enlarge: