A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


By Quill

LA Times fires photog for altering photo

A photographer for the Los Angeles Times was fired April 2 for an altered photo of a British soldier and a group of Iraqi civilians. The photo ran on the front page.

According to the Times, photographer Brian Walski admitted that he used a computer to combine elements of two photos to improve the composition. Such changes are barred by the newspaper’s policy.

Taken just moments apart, the two photographs show Iraqi civilians on the outskirts of Basra being directed by a British soldier to protect themselves from possible Iraqi fire. Editors didn’t notice that some people appeared twice in the background until after the photo ran in the March 31 paper. The Times published all three photographs on April 2 – the two originals and the altered photo. Walski worked at the Times since 1998.

U.S. reporter fired for protesting Iraq war

A reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle was fired April 23 after a previous suspension because of his arrest at a rally against the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Technology reporter Henry Norr, 57, was suspended by the Chronicle in March after being arrested along with 1,300 people. The protesters blocked public streets the morning after the start of the Iraq war.

Unlike numerous U.S. newspapers, the Chronicle does not prohibit reporters from involvement in political events, but an internal March memo advised staffers to get approval from superiors before participating in any such political events.

Norr has said that no journalist can be completely objective and that he was treated unfairly. The paper told him that his suspension was due to a claimed sick day to attend the anti-war protest. Norr organized marches during the Vietnam War before he became a journalist.

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