Posted in: Media Industry

Doctored Boston Photo Creates Debate Over Gore, Truth In The Media

Boston Marathon Explosions

A doctored photo from the Boston Marathon bombing has created a debate about the media’s responsibility to the truth vs. the public’s tolerance for gore.

The photo, which was published by the New York Daily News, shows the aftermath of the bombing. A woman can be seen laying on the ground next to a lone sneaker and a pile of blood. In the doctored photo, the woman does not have a wound on her leg.

The photo was taken by the Boston Globe‘s John Tlumacki and has appeared in several online and print publications. In the original photo, there is a gruesome wound on the woman’s leg.

What do you think of the doctored Boston photo? Did the New York Daily News did the right thing by removing some of the gore from the photo? Does doctoring the photo trivialize the horrific events in Boston yesterday?

Yahoo News points to the ethic code for the National Press Photographers Association which states: “Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images … in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.”

The doctored photo still shows blood on the street, but it does erase one of the more powerful details of the photo.

Charles Apple, the author of the blog post and an editor at the Orange County Register, criticized the Daily News for sanitizing the photo.

Apple wrote: “If you can’t stomach the gore, don’t run the photo. Period.”

The NY Daily News released a statement today saying that they doctored the photo out of sensitivity to the victims.

The paper said in a statement: “The Daily News edited that photo out of sensitivity to the victims, the families and the survivors. There were far more gory photos that the paper chose not to run, and frankly I think the rest of the media should have been as sensitive as the Daily News.”

Here’s a look at the photo. The manipulated part of the photo is near the person in the red jacket’s shoe. You can see a closeup of the photo manipulation here.

doctored boston photo

What do you think of the doctored Boston photo? Did the NY Daily News do the right thing by altering the photo? Or does the manipulation cheapen the tragic events following yesterday’s marathon?

Articles And Offers From The Web


21 Responses to “Doctored Boston Photo Creates Debate Over Gore, Truth In The Media”

  1. Anonymous

    They did the wrong thing. The media needs to quit treating us like babies in this country. Quit lying to us, have the balls to report and show the news. You're always trying to protect somebody and/or lying. Quit being so political and report the news truthfully and without bias or don't report it.

  2. Anonymous

    its forrrrr the chilllldren fucking news and govt think americans cant deal with reality. THIS IS REALITY TV PEOPLE!

  3. Jim Figaniak

    Anything to make a buck, sell a mag or get higher ratings. News syndicates & broadcasters should all be held responsible for the erroneous and blatant exxagerations and distortion of this national distaster.

  4. Alex Baffi

    If they doctored a photo to reduce the shock of the incident, than it stands to reason that the news had made things look worse than they are. If that is the case, than the news plays with the public opinion. Which reminds me anyone else but me notice that the Kermit Gosnell, the Philly abortionist who killed babies past the age of viability, up to a 33rd week fetus. This case has not made HLN, CNN or any other station, local for me that is. Is this because of the topic, of abortion, is it due to the fact the doctor is African American so a racial bias is in play, or is it because a higher source placed a gag order on media, or could it be a political force has pulled strings. BTW CNN , HLN, and my locals only very rarely mention anything in the line of court trials except the Arias one.

  5. Rocky Roads

    The news media stopped being honest back in the 50s. It's always played some lies on us, but it's gotten worse as they've turned more and more leftist. I feel it has a lot to do with Conservative media beating them to a pulp, but go figure. Rather than do a better job of telling the truth, they choose to further and further into lying to us all the time. Now everything is either George Bush's fault or some white "right winger" It matters not to them that the fault for most of this country's problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the America hating leftists and Islamics. Sure there are bad apples in every group, but lefitst and Islamics can't square away why finding someone good in either group is even harder than finding some bad in Conservative American groups, and so they lean on the old Nazi/Joseph Goebbels who famelessly said, just repeat a lie so often that someday they will believe it. Man, Did he ever have leftist stupidity so well pegged.

  6. Kimberly Olson

    As you can see, it still got shown to the public. They should not have run it at all. Or maybe they wanted controversy to promote their paper.

  7. Gail Moira Henderson

    The only way it should have been doctored was either to 'mask' the gore if they were that sensitive or to clearly publish that it had been altered. They have destroyed their credibility and now no picture can be trusted.

  8. Mary Winebrenner

    Really, with everything going on in the world, we are fighting about this? I wouldn't want a photo of myself w/ my pants blown off on the front page of the paper! (They just said on the Today show her pants were GONE from the explosion) Lets focus on the fact of WHAT happened rather than pictures from it.

  9. Anonymous

    Someone's actually complaining that they airbrushed out some gore? Sick people.

  10. Anonymous

    "If they doctored a photo to reduce the shock of the incident, then it stands to reason that the news had made thing look worse than they are". Huh? That would stand to reduce if they had ADDED some gore, not visa versa.

  11. Jane Maclellan

    I saw all the photos published by the British Daily Mail and realized that in North America those photos would probably not have been shown. I wonder why there is such a difference. It's not like NAs can't handle the truth.

  12. Devin Hopkins

    If the photo was too graphic to publish as-is, they should have used a different one.

  13. Anonymous

    Just another example of how the media can alter what it gives to the general public. One wonders how much of what we see and hear is actual truth anymore. What happened to the true honest journalist like we had in the 50's and 60's? Everyone now days has their own agenda instead of impartial reporting. Then when you get corrupt politicians into the mix, it really makes for a bunch of lies and half truths.

  14. Thomas Valeriote

    I don't want my children seeing the horrors of terrorism just yet thank you. If they felt it was too gruesome for a paper that any member of the public can see on the street, computer, or tv, then I thank them. You know what else is real? Beheadings, gunshot wounds to the face, people run over by cars. Doesn't mean I want it plastered everywhere to see. The photo did not need the leg wound to give the full effect of horror, we know the day was a horrific event.

  15. Alex Baffi

    If you are too dense to make the connection to what I am saying than I refuse to explain it to you.

  16. Anonymous

    if it needed to be doctored…it didn't need to be taken.

  17. Anonymous

    The news media can't be trusted as they either lie or manipulate the truth about something. I've caught them red handed at it. The also sensationalize EVERYTHING which actually manipulates peoples mind into believing the lie or misinformation. They can't just give us the news straight up anymore which is what everyone really wants. The real truth, noth their truth..

Around The Web