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

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?