The Fauxtographer's Favorite: Flat Fatima + "Some of My Best Friends Are Photojournalists!"

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 10, 2006 6:43 PM

She works in any scene!

UPDATE (on a more serious note): The smack hath been laid down by EU Referendum on the AP's Kathleen Carroll. He's demanding a retraction and explanation of how the agency got duped by Director Green Helmet.

In light of the new video I noted this morning, we all deserve an explanation.

When the smack calls, Kathleen, you must answer.

Also, though my father undoubtedly laments the fact that he can't bash the MSM all the time, he sticks up for ethical photojournalists in his column this week.

Those photos, and several other egregious examples of staged photos used by major news outlets, have prompted widespread criticism of photojournalists, especially those covering the Middle East. But none of the professional photojournalists I’ve worked with over the last 25 years would have been a party to such nonsense.

But he also wonders why the Reuters scandal is not a bigger topic of discussion in the industry, as it needs to be:

Strangely, the journalistic establishment seems largely unconcerned about this. There has been no open letter from journalism school deans condemning manipulated images and the use of staged photos. The top journalism blog, Romenesko at Poynter Online, has barely mentioned it, but it did manage with a headline ("Johnson's critics say his agenda is anti-Muslim, pro-Israel, hateful") to imply that the blogger who exposed the Reuters fraud, Charles Johnson, was anti-Mulsim. Interestingly, the story that headline was linked to had a very different headline: "A blogger shines when news media get it wrong."

I was in newspapers for only a few years, so I worked with only one photojournalist, but she was phenomenal and scrupulous, winning the North Carolina Press Association's first place news photo prize her first year out of college with this (unstaged!) photo:

Photo by Joy Marinelli, 2003

She's no longer a photographer, off doing missions work and work with children now. It's a shame (though not for those children). She could do amazing things, and when I was working on a features story, she always managed to produce the image in my head without my ever having to tell her what I wanted. It was a privilege to work with her.

She knew the power that photography and the manipulation thereof could have over a story, and she did things the right way.

It's too bad people like Adnan Hajj have to cast doubt on the work of all the honest and talented photojournalists out there. It's too bad all those honest and talented photojournalists in the press establishment seem unwilling do exactly what will help the situation-- talk about the problem, loudly and often.

Full disclosure: In addition to being my photographer, Joy's also one of my best friends. See? I can say whatever I want about photojournalists. "Some of my best friends are photojournalists!"