Blog Three by Alyssa Gauss
Photo provided by Freephotos.com
Throughout the course of history, advances in technology have usually been welcomed into our lives. They generally make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Most of these advances come with some kind of price, however.
Advances in photography, for instance, have allowed significant progress in the world of journalism. With photography came an increased sense of truth behind the words and a much more effective look into the stories and events. People were not just told about an event, they were now able to see it with their own eyes and assess that image for themselves.
The troubling fact is, however, that technology has now become so advanced that it is causing us to lose sight of the original purpose of Photojournalism. Computer programs like Adobe Photoshop are so sophisticated that a photo can be edited and not one consumer will be conscious of the change. Objects and people can be added and taken out of images with ease, models can been made to look virtually flawless and the entire meaning of a photo can be changed by simply altering colors. The establishment that once gave modern journalism such a great foundation is now leading it to accrue a bad reputation for deceiving the public.
According to Carolynne Burkholder, writer of “Online Journalism Ethics: Photojournalism”, photo editing is turning into a very common practice even if it is seen as a breach in the ethics codes of journalism. According to Burkholder, many newspapers have a standing policy to never publish altered photos, but it has not become a completely universal practice yet.
So here come the ultimate questions: how much editing is too much editing? Is there a fine line between simply enhancing a photo versus blatantly changing it? Is altering photos for magazines more acceptable than altering for news stories? Is altering in any way completely unethical? These are important questions to ask when you consider how much your daily news affects the way you see the world. It might be a good idea to find out what your news source’s policy is.