Monday, August 07, 2006

Reuters suspends Adnan Hajj - photographer from Qana

Just read EU Referendum post on this. ( Also see Amercian Thinker here ). Reuters have suspended Mr Adnan Hajj - see here.

In essence it appears Mr Hajj has been putting his copy of photoshop to good use. American Thinker describes the MSM approach to using these images as 'drive by journalism'.

There must be an increasing problem as western news agencies use local staff due to the threat to westerners. Are we being progressively blinded and fed images by Islamic terrorists like Hezbollah ?

Its a scandal - will it make the MSM today ( or Newsnight ? ) I'll wait and see. (Update: it appears Newsnight will deal with this tonight - what angle will they take - see here. Thanks to ceci n'est pas mon nom for giving me a heads up on this.)

See what I got from Google News with his name below and then comapre to the search on BBC news at about 11:30am BST 7Aug06... ( I've put links to the searchs which of course may evolve with time). (Update: This story has made the BBC at last on Newsnight last night an the internet here - no links with the controversy over Qana though. )

Google News :


NewsBusters
Reutergate Is News Everywhere But in the (formerly) Mainstream ...
NewsBusters - 4 hours ago
... To show that the idea of staging events may not be unique to Adnan Hajj, Sweetness & Light seriously questions, based on his whereabouts and his apparent ...
Reuters Admits Photo Fraud: Now What About Qana? American Thinker
all 2 related »

Melbourne Herald Sun
Beirut bomb pic doctored
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia - 4 hours ago
... The photograph by Adnan Hajj, published by global news agencies on the weekend showed thick black smoke rising from high-rise buildings in the besieged city. ...
Reuters Fires Photographer Jawa Report
Reuters scandal demands an outside investigation American Thinker
Doctored Reuters Photo of Beirut and the Manipulation of the Media Counterterrorism Blog
Power Line - Journalism.co.uk - all 36 related »
The worst photoshop I’ve ever seen (Update: More evidence)
Hot Air, MD - Aug 5, 2006
... It probably was the photographer, Adnan Hajj, who ’shopped the image, if only because Reuters HQ could surely manage a slicker job than this. ...

Jawa Report
Another Fake Reuters Photo from Lebanon
Jawa Report, TX - 9 hours ago
Another photo by Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj has been shown to be doctored. ... Okay, so two Reuters photos from Adnan Hajj Ali have been debunked? Any more? ...
DOCTORED REUTERS PHOTO OF BEIRUT AND THE MANIPULATION OF THE MEDIA
FrontPage magazine.com, CA - 2 hours ago
... Reuters' faked photograph of Beirut burning, by Adnan Hajj. Click ... disturbing. And there may be more faked photos out there by Adnan Hajj. ...

Israel Insider
Reuters admits publishing distorted Beirut photo, apologizes ...
Israel Insider, Israel - 20 hours ago
... The photographer credited, Adnan Hajj, also was responsible for some of the staged photographs from Qana, such as this one (discretion advised). ...
Reuters admits to doctoring Lebanon strike photo
Jerusalem Post, Israel - 18 hours ago
The scene was photographed by Adnan Hajj, who had also photographed the aftermath of the Israeli attack on Kana last week, in which the Lebanese initially ...
Hezbollah's favorite photographer?
Wizbang, DC - 23 hours ago
The big dogs of the blogosphere are all over Adnan Hajj, the Reuters photographer who has the amazing good fortune to be on the scene, camera at the ready, at ...
Blog Consensus: Reuters Photographer Photoshopped Beirut "Burning ...
NewsBusters - Aug 5, 2006
... overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut's suburbs August 5, 2006. Many buildings were flattened during the attack. (Adnan Hajj/Reuters)": ...
A friend e-mails:
National Review Online Blogs, NY - 15 hours ago
Adnan Hajj’s photos are still on the wire, including this one which raises some questions from the cynic in me. The caption reads ..

BBC News:

Your 2 search results for "Adnan Hajj"
Send us your Hajj experiences
Millions of pilgrims have converged on the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Send us your Hajj experiences.
» 88% relevance | 21/01/2005 | similar stories
Mecca dream for aged pilgrim
The man who is probably the world's oldest pilgrim fulfils a dream made possibly by the generosity of readers of BBC News Online.
» 84% relevance | 10/02/2004 | similar stories

7 comments:

ceci n'est pas mon nom said...

You're missing the point, whether willfully or otherwise I don't know.

1)Did the BBC run either of these photos? If not, why should it signal this abuse? That war produces disinformation, is an axiom no journalist ignores, as should no viewer or reader. Particularly visual disinformation.

2)Does any of this justify the so-called 'doubts' on Qana? 'Doubts' are always logically possible, we know this sine Descartes. Nothing outside the realm of pure mathematics may be conclusively demonstrable. Through this flaw in our epistemological resources will slip every kind of negationist. Even politically-engaged people should hesitate before accepting to relay such 'doubts' when the overwhelming weight of (non-demonstrative) evidence contradicts them.

Why this visceral hatred of the BBC? Shouldn't we be proud of one of the very few British institutions that still commands respect on the world stage?

Man in a shed said...

OK here's my response:

1) Its not abuse. Its a key story. Evidence is mounting of a clear manipulation and spinning campaign by Hezbollah and their sympathisers using Reuters. The BBC should run this story as it has a very real impact on their viewers. Also I've just posted on images the BBC did use of staged Hezbollah activities but they have now withdrawn (with no comment) - Drinking from home has the details if you want to go and see.

2) The doubts on Qana are what the full story really is. More rockets were launched from Qana today. The sequence of events is not clear. Now most commentators agree the death toll is 50% of what was originally reported. Who was in the building, when did it collapse, how close to it did Hezbollah launch rockets bringing almost certain reprisal ? These are real and justified doubts about the story being put out in the MSM.

Do I hate the BBC ? - not really. But they are a state funded broadcaster funded by a poll tax-loved by the left- ( at similar levels to the much hated- by the left- poll tax Mrs Thatcher introduced and was forced to withdraw ) which was certainly until recently the main reason for women being imprisoned ( for non payment ) in the UK. They seem to have a certain view of the world which is, to my eye, a left wing agenda. I'd rather not have to pay tax to fund them. Or if I must then they should drop the bias.

However if you want to pay my TV license fee, as they are such a great organisation, then let me know !

ceci n'est pas mon nom said...

Well, apparently Newsnight is going to do a story on this tonight, so your wish has been granted: see the BBC Editors' blog.

As for the "doubts", I can't see where they are: we now know that the original death toll was over-estimated (or exaggerated if you prefer), and I don't know who is unaware that Hezbollah is using the local population to score propaganda victories (which Qana most certainly was). But the generally accepted fact remains: that 28 people, including many children, died following an air-strike on a civilian building. Do you doubt that? Differences may exist on how to interpret this: war crime or terrible but inevitable consequence of war? Here difference of opinion is inevitable, and irresolvable. (If I had to adopt an opinion, it would probably be the second, but like most "neutral observers" to this war, I'm too shocked and disturbed to be opinionated.) But if you deny even the basic fact ...

The BBC has a left-wing bias? This is an example of a metaphysical because unverifiable sentence David Hume would tell us to throw to the bonfire. What is left, what is right? They are not absolutes, directions in relation to a point of view. It's inevitable that if you situate yourself "on the right", you will see things "to the left" of you (and vice versa).

This is not a "postmodernist, relativist" argument (as I read in one of your commenters). Facts (in my opinion!) are absolutes: there are facts about Qana. But they must be presented, and there is no absolute position which the human mind can adopt to do so. There will ineveitable be point of view. From the moment you are politically engaged therefore, inevitably again you will find uncongenial points of view from which the facts are presented.

But does this indicate systematic bias, an agenda? How could it? Explain to me how it could be possible for an institution like the BBC to be systematically biased: top down orders? Special recruiting? Orwellian re-readers? An institution like Fox News, the Sun, even the Guardian, which exists to promote certain values, I understand. The BBC which exists to provide a public service of informing democratic opinion I don't.

If you don't like paying the licence fee, that's another argument. I think that as long as the democratic consensus about the value of the BBC exists, it's not unreasonable of you to be obliged to pay your licence fee, just like for all the other taxes. You're perfectly entitled to try to persuade people that a world without the BBC but with Fox News and Al-Jazeera is a better world. But some different argument than the "left-wing bias" one would perhaps be more honest.

Man in a shed said...

ceci n'est pas mon nom - well I thought it was worth a go asking you to pay my license fee ! (I've yet to meet a generous socialist.)

Thanks also for the info about Newsnight tonight. I hope they are going to be substantive, rather than just a plague on all their blogging houses approach. The response to recent events by Helen of EU Referendum is well worth reading here, she talks a lot of sense.

On your last point I'm not a Qana denier - if such a sin is to exist. My argument is with the reporting and the failure of the MSM to police itself and do a professional job. I personally wish this war had never started. (In fact I posted early on that Israel should stop - unless it could achieve its objectives, which I doubted. ) If you think I am denying basic facts please list them and we'll see.

On Bias. Ok this is how it works. The BBC is a state company - it attracts people of a certain view point. They think they aren't being biased - which is how deep it goes. ( Now I know how that can be rephrased in terms of paranoia, but I'm not the only one.) This is why there is a call in the UK right now for a new TV news service that won't have the built in institutional left-wing bias of the BBC.

Finally - thanks for your comments. They are appreciated, even if not agreed with.

ceci n'est pas mon nom said...

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, and fully recognising I won't persuade you, I'll return a final time to the fray. First, I'm satisfied you're not a "Qana-denier", I didn't think you were. My query was about these "doubts on Qana" which as long as they remain unexplicit, can be thought to mean anything (which is of course why certain people peddle these unexplicit "doubts"). If we agree on what I called a "fact", then as far as I'm concerned we agree full stop.

As for the BBC, I don't know why the fact that it's a public company means it must attract left-wing employees. Indeed, it seems it simply attracts educated creative people: surveys* put it top of all companies in terms of attractiveness among new graduates: both humanities and engineering students, and even ranks third among business school graduates.

The call for a new unbiased news service: OK, but the same arguments will always return. For either it would be a public company, and then how could you ensure it wasn't a new BBC, or it would be a private company, but then how would it be any different from those that exist already?

These are negative arguments in favour of the BBC. The positive one is that information is too important to be left to market forces and commercial interests to decide what's news. A public organisation is certainly open to manipulation by the government of the day, and to basic laxness and complacency, and should therefore always be subject to public scrutiny. Blogging can play this role, seems a potentially good thing, if its goal is to keep the BBC on the straight and narrow, to uphold its values (the public service of providing comprehensive and impartial news -as impartial as is possible). These are values British patriots can be proud of.

Finally, your licence fee. You don't HAVE to pay it you know. I don't: but then, I neither have a television, nor live in the UK...

* For the survey, see the article entitled "BBC top for graduates despite bad publicity" on www.personneltoday.com

ceci n'est pas mon nom said...

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, and fully recognising I won't persuade you, I'll return a final time to the fray. First, I'm satisfied you're not a "Qana-denier", I didn't think you were. My query was about these "doubts on Qana" which as long as they remain unexplicit, can be thought to mean anything (which is of course why certain people peddle these unexplicit "doubts"). If we agree on what I called a "fact", then as far as I'm concerned we agree full stop.

As for the BBC, I don't know why the fact that it's a public company means it must attract left-wing employees. Indeed, it seems it simply attracts educated creative people: surveys* put it top of all companies in terms of attractiveness among new graduates: both humanities and engineering students, and even ranks third among business school graduates.

The call for a new unbiased news service: OK, but the same arguments will always return. For either it would be a public company, and then how could you ensure it wasn't a new BBC, or it would be a private company, but then how would it be any different from those that exist already?

These are negative arguments in favour of the BBC. The positive one is that information is too important to be left to market forces and commercial interests to decide what's news. A public organisation is certainly open to manipulation by the government of the day, and to basic laxness and complacency, and should therefore always be subject to public scrutiny. Blogging can play this role, seems a potentially good thing, if its goal is to keep the BBC on the straight and narrow, to uphold its values (the public service of providing comprehensive and impartial news -as impartial as is possible). These are values British patriots can be proud of.

Finally, your licence fee. You don't HAVE to pay it you know. I don't: but then, I neither have a television, nor live in the UK...

* For the survey, see the article entitled "BBC top for graduates despite bad publicity" on www.personneltoday.com

Man in a shed said...

OK on the BBC being popular with graduates - thats easy. Its got a good profile and they havce all been watching it since they were kids. Many are media studies / humanities graduates with no immediate useful skills and hence ideal material for a media company. Who's the biggest company - why the BBC.

On Bias - let me quote from Tim Montgomerie ( the rest is here ):

Veteran BBC journalist Robin Aitken has promised to do for the BBC what Bernard Goldberg’s ‘Bias’ did to CBS. Aitken served as a BBC reporter for a quarter of a century and has accused it of an “unconscious, institutionalised Leftism.” “I was surprised to discover how many of my colleagues were active members of Labour or the Liberal Democrats,” he told a recent edition of The Telegraph. “They cannot bear President Bush because he’s a Republican and an evangelical Christian,” he continued. “I long for the day when I hear a reporter say something sceptical about the UN.”

I used to live in the Netherlands and there public broadcasting is split between a number of different organisations as the Dutch realise bias is ineviatable.(Pragmatic as ever.)

Hopefully the BBC will get sorted next time the Conservatives are in power. Sky news is less bias for heavens sake!