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Reuters pictures of the year; Plus: lessons for AP

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 14, 2006 09:04 PM

Yahoo! News is currently featuring a slideshow of Reuters pictures of the year.

The gallery of 208 images includes everything from a guy submerged in tomatoes, to soccer shots, celebrity cheesecake, more celebrity cheesecake, more sports shots, the Chavez-Castro lovefest, the lady speared with a javelin, Mel Gibson’s mugshot, more celebrity cheesecake, and, oh, did I mention celebrity cheesecake?

I slogged through the entire slideshow. Guess what’s missing?

Yup, the two most unforgettable Reuters images of them all: The Picture Kill graphics of disgraced former Reuters fauxtographer Adnan Hajj’s Photoshopped fakes uncovered by bloggers Charles Johnson at LGF and Rusty Shackleford at My Pet Jawa:

picturekill1.jpg

picturekill003.jpg

Perhaps Yahoo! would consider creating a special slideshow dedicated to the worst fauxtography of 2006. Start here. Go here. And here. And here. And here. And here. For starters.

Meanwhile, Charles at LGF notes that Reuters CEO Tom Glocer has addressed fauxtography and the blogosphere in a recent speech.

So what does the Hajj incident tell us? There are three key lessons:

The first is accountability. The upside of the flourishing blogosphere is that beyond our own strict editorial standards, there is a new check and balance. I take my hat off to Charles Johnson, the editor of Little Green Footballs. Without his website, the Hajj photo may well have gone unnoticed.

The blogosphere provides accountability. They’re not always going to be right. Indeed, many of the accusations levelled at traditional media are partisan in nature – but some are not. We have to listen to the bloggers – we shouldn’t ignore them.

The second lesson is about the trust of our audience. We learned at Reuters that the action of one man – a man who wasn’t even a full-time staff member – could seriously hurt the trust in our news, built assiduously over 155 years. His stupid decision to clone smoke cost us.

We learned that your reputation is only as good as the last photograph you transmit, or the last story you file.

The final lesson we learned was this – more than ever the world needs a media company free from bias, independent, telling it as it really is, without the filter of national or political interest…

…Telling the story truthfully is more important than ever. Reporting it without spin and without editorializing is critical if history is to accurately record events.

AP could learn a thing or two from Glocer, I think.

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