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This is a journalism class writing work

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This is a journalism class writing work.

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Photo Manipulation is the act of changing a photograph or video to have a different appearance than it had in its original form. Sometimes, this is perfectly acceptable. Newspapers and magazines crop, enlarge, lighten, and darken photos as a regular professional practice. But if this kind of “altering” of an image would change the public’s perception of “reality,” then we must question whether the manipulation is ethically acceptable. One way to test this ethicality is to ask the viewer/reader if the photograph is plausible. “Or, is the fictional content immediately obvious?” This recognition factor allows for a fairly liberal interpretation of what is misleading. It relies on two tests: (1) whether or not the image is implausible and, thus, readily obvious, and (2) if not, if it is appropriately labeled.

The Qualified Expectation of Reality (QER) Test for Photo-Manipulation Acceptability:

1. The viewfinder test. Is this what the photographer saw in the viewfinder? 2. The photo processing test. Are the changes routine, and not affecting overall content? (Cropping, color correction, sizing, etc.) 3. The technical credibility test. Is it obvious to anyone the photo has been altered, and that the change was made to enhance visual effect? 4. The clear implausibility test. Is the photographed image something that could not occur in reality? (e.g., a photo of the Eiffel Tower wearing a sombrero) A “news” photo image should be able to pass all four elements of the test. A “public relations” or “promotions” photo may not need to pass; however, every situation is different. See pages 296-298 in the text for more detailed information on the QER test

PHOTO MANIPULATIONS CASE STUDY Photo Manipulation is the act of changing a photograph or video to have a different appearance than it had in its original form. Sometimes, this is perfectly acceptable. Newspapers and magazines crop, enlarge, lighten, and darken photos as a regular professional practice. But if this kind of “altering” of an image would change the public’s perception of “reality,” then we must question whether the manipulation is ethically acceptable. One way to test this ethicality is to ask the viewer/reader if the photograph is plausible. “Or, is the fictional content immediately obvious?” This recognition factor allows for a fairly liberal interpretation of what is misleading. It relies on two tests: (1) whether or not the image is implausible and, thus, readily obvious, and (2) if not, if it is appropriately labeled. The Qualified Expectation of Reality (QER) Test for Photo-Manipulation Acceptability: 1. The viewfinder test. Is this what the photographer saw in the viewfinder? 2. The photo processing test. Are the changes routine, and not affecting overall content? (Cropping, color correction, sizing, etc.) 3. The technical credibility test. Is it obvious to anyone the photo has been altered, and that the change was made to enhance visual effect? 4. The clear implausibility test. Is the photographed image something that could not occur in reality? (e.g., a photo of the Eiffel Tower wearing a sombrero) A “news” photo image should be able to pass all four elements of the test. A “public relations” or “promotions” photo may not need to pass; however, every situation is different. See pages 296-298 in the text for more detailed information on the QER test. Altering Photos for Aesthetics Your newspaper publishes an annual progress edition insert in magazine style that gets a new title and cover each year, though its contents are fairly similar year to year (history of the area, growth, features about longtime residents, etc.). You’ve taken the cover photo for the coming edition, a shot of the freshly rebuilt St. Mary's Church, which had nearly burned to the ground a few years earlier in one of the worst fires in the city's history. Your photo is gorgeous — the white, clean lines of the church shone in a fading afternoon sun, and flowering trees framed the composition. However, in the photo, power lines hang over the street and cut neatly through the top third of the photo, potentially marring its beauty. You explain to your editor that there was no other angle that captured the sky and the evening light that wasn’t obstructed in some way, physically or aesthetically. Your editor still wants that shot for the cover, but asks you to use Photoshop to “erase” the power lines. His argument is that since the photo is not a photo in the news section, the standards are different, and removing the power lines does nothing to compromise the integrity of the newspaper in this case. Your Job Use the QER guidelines to determine which version of the photo you think should be run and why. Be sure to address all four elements of the QER test. Also explain your position as to whether this photo should be considered “news” or not, and how that affects your decision. Your answer should be roughly 300-400 words in length, double spaced. Style and grammar count, so proofread your work before posting it. Original Altered

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