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Weblog Entry

Journalistic Integrity

April 02, 2003

Considering the spin jobs performed by the modern media to appease advertisers, I find the L.A. Times’ moral high–road a bit strained.

However, journalism is about reporting the facts, not making them up, and I’m forced to agree with their decision to dismiss photographer Brian Walski for digitally manipulating a front page photo.

It’s a minor change to adjust composition, but any editing of news imagery is deplorable. ‘Breaking news’ should not be edited for the sake of a portfolio.


Reader Comments

April 03, 01h

Yeah, his simple hack job really changed the whole tone of the pic into what was seemingly a very charged moment.

I agree with you. It seems that much of the mainstream N. American media is reluctant to obey it’s journalistic integrity in the face of the ‘non-partisan’ and ‘never-ending’ war on abstractions where all reasonable and fair critique of foriegn policy ceases for fear of being deemed ‘unpatriotic’. The ‘Big Picture’ has seemed to have undergone some distortion.

They, or at least their audience and advertisers, are falling for a brilliant but diabolical neo-conservative tactic designed to ‘justify’ an action without actually making any concrete justification. The problem with the tactic, and of the population and media falling in line with it, is, ofcourse, that it’s a downward spiral – a symptom of which is people protesting outside the planetarium to support a unilateral war that has been unjustified, breaks the UN charter, turns up the heat on a region already set to boil, etc, etc. for fear of being seen as “not a true friend of the Americans” and other hair-brained, vague, pap concerns.

Just one reporter’s opinion… ;-)

Dave says:
April 03, 09h

Ah, the recent remarks of U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci got you riled up too, I see.

I was spammed by a guy conducting a research study on weblogs this week. He wanted to discuss potential commercial applications of such. It got me thinking — weblogs have been touted as an alternative to traditional, mainstream reporting. The eye on the street for the people, by the people; Sallam Pax being the latest big story.

So if they start becoming muses for the corporate world (as is, inevitably, inevitable) then what happens to this resurgent vox populi? I see the old media embracing the new form, and while it may stay fresh for a while, we’ll inevitably see a lapse right back into the old habits.

I think traditional journalism is looking rather shaky, with the publishing power that average Joe now has. Given corporate sponsorships and almost willful censoring, the internet is casting a lot more doubt than ever on old-school reporting techniques. But they’ll find a way to survive; through homogenizing, no doubt. Their livelihood depends on it.

April 05, 12h

You are correct, Celluci dropped a thorn in my shorts. He also seemed to have slipped the Yankee goggles on some dumb white Canadians, too. Sneaky feller.

(The Yankee goggles are similar to the night vision goggles used by the heroic ‘Coalition of the Willing” troops down yonder in that there Iraq, `cept they’re powered by bullshit – not rechargeable AA’s – and are no good to Canadians at any level of ambient lighting.)