NPPA, WHNPA Statement on Congressional Photo

The National Press Photographers Association and the White House News Photographers Association have issued a joint statement on the altered photo of the Democratic women of the 113th Congress.

At issue is, of course, whether you should ever manipulate a “news” photo. Answer: NO.

But there’s a deeper issue here, too, because more and more of these government handout photos are being used by publications across the country.

Need examples? Remember when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blasted his own Republican part for not passing the Superstorm Aid package earlier this week? AP put a bylined story out, and it was picked up in lots of places. As was the photo they moved:

Read the caption:

In this photo provided by the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a news conference at New Jersey’s State House on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Trenton, N.J. Christie blasted fellow Republican John Boehner for the House Speaker’s decision Tuesday to delay a vote on Superstorm Sandy relief and says the inaction is “inexcusable.” Republican Rep. Peter King of New York on Wednesday said Boehner has promised votes to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy by Jan. 15. (AP Photo/New Jersey Governor’s Office, Tim Larsen)

Every one of those news outlets (and I’m sure lots of other ones) used a government hand-out photo. Which … well … I find very disturbing. Here was a major political figure making a major statement and news organizations are publishing images made by the man’s own staff?

Where’s the outrage over that?

Mark E. Johnson

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