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World Press Photo’s Lars Boering and the fight against “fake news”

A full report on this year’s contest will be released on 27 February – but in the meantime, a new spectre has raised its head. Documentary but recording a murder which took place at a press conference, this year’s winning image by Burhan Ozbilici has been denounced by the jury chair Stuart Franklin, who argues it is a terrorist manipulation of the media, and therefore should not be given the oxygen of more publicity.

“It is a staged murder for the press in a press conference, so there will be questions,” Franklin told BJP. “It is a premeditated, staged murder at a press conference, which arguably you could put in the same envelope as the beheading of a prisoner in Raqqa [Syria].”

An Assassination

Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts after shooting Andrei Karlov, right, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Image ©

Boering has no such compunction. “Every act of terrorism is a manipulation of society and media,” he says. “They know the media is drawn to these things, that everyone will want to publish it first. But to me that is not fake news. Fake news for me is when we see governments trying to trash facts, figures and anything they don’t like. It is not new – if you go back to the 1930s, propaganda and news were very much intertwined.

“We [World Press Photo] feel we have never given in to the pressure to ‘everything goes’ in photography,” he continues. “Photography is a big place, you can do anything, but when you are a journalist you are working in a specific area of photography, working in the world we live in.”


Lunes, 6 de marzo de 2017 Sin comentarios

Why does manipulation matter? – David Campbell

Why does manipulation matter?

Does the manipulation of news and documentary photographs matter, and how should we talk about this issue?

The discussion about the number of images disqualified for manipulation in the 2015 World Press Photo contest has been intense, and the debate will be ongoing. But I’ve now left the Secretary’s seat for this year and have returned to civilian life as an independent writer. As Secretary I had enough to say on the specifics of the contest issue last week, and those contributions are best summarised in this podcast and its associated links.

Now it is time to reflect personally on why manipulation matters. I’ve written a lot about manipulation over the years, but not really addressed up front why it matters. In many respects the reasons for being concerned about manipulation, and the way those reasons are articulated, have not been at the forefront of the recent controversy either.1 To keep the big picture in mind, so to speak, we need to focus on the reason and how it is justified.


The first thing to observe is that the question of possible manipulation is far from exhausted by the focus on processing digital image files (though that priority makes perfect sense for a debate ignited by a photo contest). At almost every stage in the photographic process from capture, production, to the publication and circulation of photographic images contains the potential for manipulation. The mere fact of going to place A rather than place B to produce an image involves a choice that might represent reality in a partial manner. How travel to a photographic location was enabled and funded raises a series of questions. Once on location, the composition and framing of scenes necessarily involves choices that shape representations. The editing, selection, tagging, and captioning of images for potential publication adds more layers of decision. Which images are then distributed to media clients for purchase, and how those clients present, sequence and contextualise those images, is another realm of creative choice that shapes the representation of events and issues. As David Levi Strauss has observed, “the truth is that every photograph or digital image is manipulated, aesthetically and politically, when it is made and when it is distributed.”

Line in the sand

Fuente: Why does manipulation matter? – David Campbell.

Martes, 3 de marzo de 2015 Sin comentarios

La estética del fotoperiodismo: la guerra en Siria

El eterno debate en el fotoperiodismo

Walter Benjamin dijo que “la fotografĂ­a ha logrado transformar la mĂĄs abyecta pobreza, encarĂĄndola de una manera estilizada, tĂ©cnicamente perfecta, en objeto placentero”.

» ¿Vemos lo bello y no lo terrible?, ¿qué busca el fotógrafo con fotografías así?».

Sin duda, una de las claves estå en la pregunta:  «¿necesitamos este tipo de fotografías para describir un conflicto bélico?».

Violence continues to sweep across Aleppo

© Narciso Contreras


© Narciso Contreras

Muy recomendable la lectura del texto completo en: La estética del fotoperiodismo: la guerra en Siria | Oda a Niepce..

Jueves, 2 de octubre de 2014 Sin comentarios

World Press Photo 2014 contest: Reflections from the Secretary’s seat

InteresantĂ­simos comentarios del secretario del jurado de World Press Photo 2014.

1658625 645063568863118 1560212609 o 590x320 World Press Photo 2014 contest: Reflections from the Secretary’s seat

Por cierto de nuevo una polémica en torno a la fotografía ganadora. El presidente del jurado es el fundador de la agencia VII Photo y el ganador John Stanmeyer pertenece a la misma agencia.

Mr Knight said that although he had asked to be removed from the final judging because of his friendship and professional relationship with Mr Stanmeyer, the World Press rules did not allow for it. He emphasised that at every level there was complete transparency. “If anything,” he said, “I was a hindrance for John getting the award, not a help.”

World Press Photo 2014 contest: Reflections from the Secretary’s seat.

Lunes, 17 de febrero de 2014 Sin comentarios