NPPA Ethics Committee Releases Statement On Disqualified World Press Photos

With winners in several of the annual photojournalism competitions being announced, and the NPPA on the verge of judging its own photo competition, once again the public, already skeptical of the idea of journalistic accuracy in photography, is learning that not everyone entering those contests adhered to widely accepted ethical standards in those entries.

Reuters Denies Ethical Allegations, While Some Syria Photographs Still Questioned

On the Reuters Web site, the caption for photograph number 8 of 15 images reads, "Issa, 10 years old, fixes a mortar launcher in a weapons factory of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib" The photographs are online at http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTX13ER0#a=1
On the Reuters Web site, the caption for photograph number 8 of 15 images reads, "Issa, 10 years old, fixes a mortar launcher in a weapons factory of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib" The photographs are online at http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTX13ER0#a=1
In response to a story last week in The New York Times that raised serious ethical questions about the practices of some news photographers in Syria following the death last year in Aleppo of an 18-year-old Reuters freelancer, the news agency issued a statement denying the article’s allegations and refuting any wrongdoing. 

After Teen Freelancer's Death, Ethical Questions About Reuters Photos In Syria

Molhem Barakat's November 20, 2013, self portrait from his Facebook page
Molhem Barakat's November 20, 2013, self portrait from his Facebook page
After Molhem Barakat, a teenage Syrian photographer who freelanced for Reuters, was killed in December while covering rebel fighting in Aleppo, questions arose in the journalism community about what exactly was going on in Syria with freelancers. Today some of these questions have been answered when The New York Times reported that the Reuters News Picture Service, operated by Thomson Reuters, has been sending their clients news photographs from the Syrian civil war that were shot by "activists" who supported the rebels.

Sean D. Elliot Appointed NPPA Ethics Chair

Read John Long's entire Ethics Committee farewell message, "So Long, John," and his thoughts on photojournalism's ethical past, present, and future in the March issue of News Photographer magazine. For those who are not NPPA members or magazine subscribers, the magazine is available for purchase by writing to info@nppa.org. Photograph by Sean D. Elliot
Read John Long's entire Ethics Committee farewell message, "So Long, John," and his thoughts on photojournalism's ethical past, present, and future in the March issue of News Photographer magazine. For those who are not NPPA members or magazine subscribers, the magazine is available for purchase by writing to info@nppa.org. Photograph by Sean D. Elliot
Sean D. Elliot has been appointed to be the chair of the National Press Photographers Association's Ethics & Standards Committee, NPPA president Mark Dolan announced today. Elliot replaces NPPA's long-standing voice of ethics John Long, who announced his retirement from the committee.

Digitally Altered Images Disqualified From World Press Finalists

John Stanmeyer's winning image from today's announcement of World Press Photo winners, where up to eight or nine percent of the iamges judges picked for the final round were disqualified after being examined by a digital expert.
John Stanmeyer's winning image from today's announcement of World Press Photo winners, where up to eight or nine percent of the iamges judges picked for the final round were disqualified after being examined by a digital expert.
For those who are concerned with ethics in photojournalism, the announcement this morning of this year's World Press Photo winners was much anticipated in light of last year's controversy over whether 2012 winner Paul Hansen's top photograph had gone "too far" in digital post production.

Some Thoughts On Photojournalism Ethics Today


The Associated Press ended its relationship with Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photographer Narcisco Contreras after he admittted to digitally removing a colleague's video camera from a photograph of a Syrian rebel. Contreras says he "cloned" the background of the image to cover up the lower left corner where the video camera could be seen. Photographs provided by the Associated Press
The Associated Press ended its relationship with Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photographer Narcisco Contreras after he admittted to digitally removing a colleague's video camera from a photograph of a Syrian rebel. Contreras says he "cloned" the background of the image to cover up the lower left corner where the video camera could be seen. Photographs provided by the Associated Press
There was an interesting confluence of ethics oriented events this week: the Associated Press dismissed a freelancer for digitally altering a photograph; VOGUE magazine retouched a series of photographs of Lena Dunham and was criticized for doing so by another magazine; and an online publication over-processed a photograph of Edward Snowden raising the specter of the famous O.J. Simpson TIME magazine cover.

Ethics Committee Debates June National Geographic Cover

NPPA Ethics Committee chair John Long says that it was a simple eMail from an NPPA member who questioned the use of a digitally created photograph on the cover of the June 2013 issue of National Geographic that kicked off a Committee discussion that brought to light widely differing points of view.

Ethics Matters: Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Entire Photo Staff

This past week, the NPPA Ethics Committee had been deeply involved in discussing whether the June 2013 National Geographic cover photograph of explorer James Cameron was a violation of accepted journalistic ethics and values. However, what has taken precedence in our discussions is the firing of the entire photographic staff of the Chicago Sun-Times, including a Pulitzer Prize-winner, replacing them with reporters carrying iPhones.

POYi Issues Statement On Paolo Pellegrin's Pictures, Affirm Award

Today a statement from POYi says, "The spirit of Pictures of the Year International is to honor photojournalists and celebrate their outstanding documentary photography. We do not probe for reasons to disqualify work."
Today a statement from POYi says, "The spirit of Pictures of the Year International is to honor photojournalists and celebrate their outstanding documentary photography. We do not probe for reasons to disqualify work."
The Pictures of the Year International director has issued a statement today addressing the Paolo Pellegrin photography and caption controversy, waiting until last night to issue their findings after POYi finished announcing all of their category winners for this year.

WHNPA Disqualifies Altered Tracy Woodward Contest Photo, Award Rescinded

Washington Post photographer Tracy Woodward's photograph as it appeared on the Post web site (above) and as it was entered in the WHNPA contest (below).
Washington Post photographer Tracy Woodward's photograph as it appeared on the Post web site (above) and as it was entered in the WHNPA contest (below).
The White House News Photographers Association released a statement late Monday night saying that a Washington Post photograph that recently won an award in the WHNPA annual contest has now been disqualified for digital manipulation.