A Reuters photographer has been sacked for digitally ?doctoring? two images which seemingly exaggerated the impact of Israeli air strikes on Lebanon.
The agency has withdrawn 920 images from sale, as a ?precautionary measure? after an ?urgent review? discovered that freelance snapper Adnan Hajj used Photoshop imaging software to manipulate a picture of an air attack on Beirut to show ?more and darker smoke rising from buildings?.
Investigations into a second image, of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet over southern Lebanon dated 2 August, concluded that it had also been doctored – in this case to ?increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three?, claims the agency.
Reuters global picture editor Tom Szlukovenyi said: ‘There is no graver breach of Reuters standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image. Reuters has zero tolerance for any doctoring of pictures…’
Hajj ? whose work is understood to mainly involve sports photography ? reportedly claimed that the image of the Israeli air strike had dust marks which he had wanted to remove.
Questions were first raised over the images after bloggers posted messages about them on the internet, accusing the media of distorting images of the Middle East conflict.