Who and how recognise the differences

April 1 may forever haunt Colin Crawford, Los Angeles Times Director of Photography and Brian walski a staff photographer covering the war in Iraq for the paper. That was the day Walski was fired, after it was revealed that a photo he submitted on Sunday was actually a composite of two images he had captured.

The photo was shared primarily with other Tribune properties vie Newscom, the company’s internal picture distribution service. Both the Hartforf Courant and The Chicago Tribune used the photograph prominently.

McGuire, the Courant’s Assistant Managing Editor for Photography and Graphics, had edited 500 pictures from various services when he saw the picture from Walski. He liked the image so much that he called the Times for additional caption information, then published the image across six columns on the front page.

A Courant employee was looking through images for a friend and noticed what appeared to be duplication in the picture. The employee brought it to the attention of the copy desk, which then immediately alerted McGuire. ‘After about a 600 percent magnification n Photoshop, I called Colin to ask for an investigation,’ McGuire says.

http://www.poynter.org/content/resource_popup_view.asp?id=15005

In an e-mail to the entire photography staff of the Times, Walski admitted his lapse in judgment and accepted responsibility for it. In his 214-word apology, he writes, in part:

This was after an extremely long, hot and stressful day but I offer no excuses here. I deeply regret that I have tarnished the reputation of the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper with the highest standards of journalism, the Tribune Company, all the people at the Times and especially the very talented and extremely dedicated photographers and picture editors and friends that have made my 4 and a half years at the Times a true quality experience.

I have always maintained the highest ethical standards throughout my career and cannot truly explain my complete breakdown in judgment at this time. That will only come in the many sleepless nights that are ahead.

Kenneth Irby , Apr. 2, 2003, (http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=28082) 2/11/09

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