Keep a close eye on this page at…it may change suddenly

The New York Times is playing catch-up on the story of the Reuters freelance photographer who altered photos of an air raid on Beirut. In its third-day lead on the story, “Bloggers Drive Inquiry on How Altered Images Saw Print,” the Times displays the two images as moved in a matched set by Reuters after the deception was discovered.

The problem is that the Times originally had the caption information backwards. The Times caption on the page when I read it first stated: “A photographer has been accused of doctoring a photo of an Israeli air raid on Beirut. The original picture, left, and the manipulated image, right.”

The doctored photo is obviously the one on the left, with telltale circular marks in the smoke plume that are clear evidence of tampering with the “clone stamp” tool in PhotoShop.

During the time I was writing this blog entry, I also emailed the Times’ web editor, and they changed the caption error. The caption now is correct on the Times’ site. (They corrected it before I could paste it into this entry…I had to go back to the cached version of the page in my browser — from which I also made a PDF.

If anyone wants to see it, let me know.

Reuters identified the doctored photo accurately in its caption with these same two images. I wonder why the Times changed the wording and had to have it pointed out to them?

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