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Thread: News agencies stand by Lebanon photos

  1. #1
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    News agencies stand by Lebanon photos

    News agencies stand by Lebanon photos

    By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 1, 4:26 PM ET

    NEW YORK - Three news agencies on Tuesday rejected challenges to the veracity of photographs of bodies taken in the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon, strongly denying that the images were staged.

    Photographers from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse all covered rescue operations Sunday in Qana, where 56 Lebanese were killed. Many of their photos depicted rescue workers carrying dead children.

    A British Web site, the EU Referendum blog, built an argument that chicanery may have been involved by citing time stamps that went with captions of the photographs.

    For example, the Web site draws attention to a photo by AP's Lefteris Pitarakis time stamped 7:21 a.m., showing a dead girl in an ambulance. Another picture, stamped 10:25 a.m. and taken by AP's Mohammed Zaatari, shows the same girl being loaded onto the ambulance. In a third, by AP photographer Nasser Nasser and stamped 10:44 a.m., a rescue worker carries the girl with no ambulance nearby.

    The site suggests these events were staged for effect, a criticism echoed by talk show host Rush Limbaugh when he directed listeners to the blog on Monday.

    "These photographers are obviously willing to participate in propaganda," Limbaugh said. "They know exactly what's being done, all these photos, bringing the bodies out of the rubble, posing them for the cameras, it's all staged. Every bit of it is staged and the still photographers know it."

    The AP said information from its photo editors showed the events were not staged, and that the time stamps could be misleading for several reasons, including that web sites can use such stamps to show when pictures are posted, not taken. An AFP executive said he was stunned to be questioned about it. Reuters, in a statement, said it categorically rejects any such suggestion.

    "It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

    Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described."

    Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said.

    "Do you really think these people would risk their lives under Israeli shelling to set up a digging ceremony for dead Lebanese kids?" asked Patrick Baz, Mideast photo director for AFP. "I'm totally stunned by first the question, and I can't imagine that somebody would think something like that would have happened."

    The AP had three different photographers there who weren't always aware of what the others were doing, and filed their images to editors separately, said Santiago Lyon, director of photography.

    There are also several reasons not to draw conclusions from time stamps, Lyon said. Following a news event like this, the AP does not distribute pictures sequentially; photos are moved based on news value and how quickly they are available for an editor to transmit.

    The AP indicates to its members when they are sent on the wire, and member Web sites sometimes use a different time stamp to show when they are posted.

  2. #2
    flushingjet
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    the link:
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/200...now-truth.html

    Where's the story? Where's the names of the kids? Where are the interviews with the grieving siblings? The uncles telling of life cut short? The farmer's friends and how tragic it is that he lost his house.

    Meanwhile AP congratulated itself:
    Dear Staffers:

    Last Sunday proved to be one of the most dramatic days in the war between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. APís extensive photo team produced a stunning series of images that day that beat the competition and scored huge play worldwide.

    Rumors surfaced early Sunday morning that an Israeli airstrike had flattened a house in the southern Lebanese village of Qana. The number of deaths wasnít immediately known, but the seriousness of the incident was clear. Beirut-based photographer Hussein Malla immediately called AP photographers Nasser Nasser, Lefteris Pitarakis and stringer Mohammed Zaatari and advised them to rush to the scene. Nasser arrived as the bodies of many civilians ó including numerous children ó were being pulled from the rubble. Lefteris later took over, enabling Nasser to get his pictures swiftly onto the wire. Kevin Frayer was dispatched from Beirut to boost APís presence. Throughout the morning, APís team filed a steady stream of powerful images.

    Meanwhile, in Beirut, a small Hezbollah demonstration exploded into violence at word of the Qana attack. Hezbollah supporters stormed the nearby United Nations building, scaling walls and smashing their way past bulletproof glass barriers to enter the building itself. Photographers Hussein Malla, Kevork Djansezian and Ben Curtis were all there to capture the rioting. Beirut-based photo editor Dalia Khamissy coordinated with photographers in the field and handled a steady stream of stringer photos. All day long, AP photographers relayed what they were seeing to AP reporters for print stories.

    Nasserís most haunting image showed a man emerging from the rubble carrying the lifeless and dust-covered body of a child. Calm, morning light shone down on man and child, highlighting them against an almost monochrome background of pure rubble. ... Nasserís image ran on the front pages of at least 33 newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Post. It also won a double-page center spread in The Guardian of London. Lefterisís image of a resident weeping next to a row of bodies made the front of The Washington Post, among many others. Hussein, Kevork and Benís images of the storming of the UN building easily beat those of the competition.

    For a day of outstanding a memorable photos, taken in conditions of substantial danger, the Lebanon photo team of Nasser Nasser, Lefteris Pitarakis, Kevin Frayer, Mohammed Zaatari, Ben Curtis, Hussein Malla, Kevork Djansezian and Dalia Khamissy shares this weekís $500 Beat of the Week award.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by flushingjet
    Nasserís most haunting image showed a man emerging from the rubble carrying the lifeless and dust-covered body of a child. Calm, morning light shone down on man and child, highlighting them against an almost monochrome background of pure rubble. ...

    For a day of outstanding a memorable photos, taken in conditions of substantial danger, the Lebanon photo team of Nasser Nasser, Lefteris Pitarakis, Kevin Frayer, Mohammed Zaatari, Ben Curtis, Hussein Malla, Kevork Djansezian and Dalia Khamissy shares this weekís $500 Beat of the Week award.
    Maybe they can all chip in with that $500 bonus and finally give that dead baby a proper funeral, before Hezbollah puts it back in the refrigerator.

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