AUGUST 5, 2006
PHOTO BY ADNAN HAJJ
Original Reuters news agency caption: “Smoke billows from burning buildings destroyed during an overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut’s suburbs. August 5, 2006. Many buildings were flattened during the attack.”
Adnan Hajj, a Lebanese freelance photographer working for Reuters, used Photoshop to clone and darken the smoke to
exaggerate bombing damage by Israeli warplanes.
This photo was distributed to news outlets around the world before the manipulation was discovered by Little Green Footballs, an American political blog. Reuters immediately fired Mr. Hajj and withdrew all 920 photographs by the photographer from its database after it was discovered that he had manipulated a second photo.
"Mr. Hajj told Reuters he was merely trying to remove a speck of dust and fix the lighting in the photos, Mr. Holmes said. Several bloggers have contended that Mr. Hajj was driven by a political agenda, critical of Israel."
- The New York Times, "Bloggers Drive Inquiry on How Altered Images Saw Print"
- See Little Green Football's original post
- Listen to NPR's piece on the controversy
- Read Reuter's response, "Reuters toughens rules after altered photo affair"
Image copyright Adan Hajj