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NPR Calls on Prof. Bob Steele '69 to Discuss Doctored Photo

December 30, 2011

Bob Steele NBC July27 10An NPR story examining a "photographic infraction" by the North Korean Central News Agency, involving a doctored image taken during the funeral procession of Kim Jong Il calls on the director of DePauw University's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics.  When compared to other photos, the news agency's image has clearly been altered to remove some people from the shot.

Kainaz Amaria writes, "While some may argue the insignificance of the edit, Bob Steele, a journalism ethics professor at DePauw University, says the bottom line is that the truth has been altered. 'In this case, it is a fairly minor detail that has been changed,' Steele tells NPR, 'but it tells us that there is the potential for the alteration of truth in other photographs, or in any account of the story.' He adds that although the image came from an isolated nation, often the target of global skepticism, the seriousness of the matter should not be trivialized and that the manipulation of a news image from any country should not be condoned."

"To digitally alter a news photograph in a way that changes reality and deceives the public is ethically wrong," Dr. Steele declares.

Read more at National Public Radio's website.

Robert M. Steele, Distinguished Professor of Journalism Ethics at DePauw University and Phyllis W. Nicholas Director of DePauw's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, is a 1969 graduate of the University. He is one of America's leading experts on media ethics and is regularly quoted in news stories, including an Associated Press report earlier this month.

Source: NPR

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