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This text examines the use of images in journalistic contexts and the manipulation of these images to accomplish varying objectives. It provides a framework for critical discussion among professionals, educators, students, and concerned consumers of newspapers, magazines, online journals, and other nonfiction media. It also offers a method of assessing the ethics of mass-media photos, which will help visual journalists to embrace new technologies while preserving their credibility.
Phototruth or Photofiction? also:
•recounts the invention of photography and how it came to be accorded an extraordinary degree of trust;
•details how photos were staged, painted, composited and otherwise faked, long before digital technology;
•lists contemporary image-altering products and practices;
•details many examples of manipulated images in nonfiction media and lists rationales offered in defense of them;
•explains how current ethical principles have been derived;
•lays groundwork for an ethical protocol by explaining conventions of taking, processing, and publishing journalistic photos; and
•offers tests for assessing the appropriateness of altered images in non-fiction media.
Each chapter is followed by "Explorations" designed to facilitate classroom discussion and to integrate into those interactions the students' own perceptions and experiences. The book is intended for students and others interested in the manipulation of images.
Contents: Foreword. Introduction. Part I: A History of "Phototruth." "A Picture of Reality": Qualified Objectivity in Visual Journalism. Old-Fashioned Fakery: Photo Manipulation in the Pre-Digital Era. Part II: Implications of the New Digital Age. The Digital Media Landscape: Liquid Imagery, Shaky Credibility. The New Threat: Digital Deception and the Loss of Faith. Rationales and Excuses: Justifying Staged and Manipulated Photos. Part III: Groundwork: Toward a Protocol. Ethical Foundations: Doing the Right Thing. Taking Journalistic Photographs: Traditions and Techniques. Processing Journalistic Photographs: Keeping It Real. Publishing Journalistic Photographs: Context and Viewer Preconceptions. Part IV: Developing a Protocol. The "Nonfiction Photographic Environment": A Range of Implied Authenticity. Introducing the Reader's "Qualified Expectation of Reality": The Quote Standard. Previewing the Guidelines for Photo Assessment: Defining "Photofiction." Photofiction Tests 1 and 2: The Viewfinder and Nonfiction Photography's Process Tests. Photofiction Tests 3 and 4: The Technical Credibility and Obvious Implausibility Tests. The Wording of a Disclosure. The Prominence of a Disclosure. Test 5: The "Essence of Image." Cosmetic Retouching: Skin Deep? Applying the Guidelines: Case Studies. Journalistic Photography Online: A Possible Future. A Fragile Fortress of Credibility.