In writing about last week's photoshop debacle at Reuters, the Los Angeles Times hits the nail on the head. Ironically, this comes from a newspaper who had to deal with one of its own fabricating reality by combining two pictures to make a so-called better one.
In the article, Tim Rutten makes the point that "one of the undeniable strengths of the Internet and of the blogosphere...." is "...the fact that it is being employed to help keep journalism honest ultimately is to everybody's benefit."
Rutten suggests that instead of waiting for right-wing bloggers to pounch, news operations need to a better job monitoring and policing the images coming out of conflict zones.
This might seem like a no-brainer of an idea, but it also makes good sense considering the impact a photo manipulated image or a staged event can have on a publication.
In addition, Rutten says something that has concerned me for more than 15 years -- outsourcing content to less than reputable sources.
Rutten contends, after running through the gamut of possible explanations for the manipulations, that this:
"brings us to the most troubling of the possible explanations for these fraudulent photos, which is that some of the photojournalists involved are either intimidated by or sympathetic to the Hezbollah terrorists. It's a possibility fraught with harsh implications, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and openly."
Now, let's see if publications get the message.